Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

26 August 2009

College Student Thinking Skills

I have often wondered how it is that so many college graduates are enamored of socialism and very ready to give up their sovereign rights as an individual to choose their own values and to live their own lives in accordance with their values. I have discovered a clue today while reading a short entry in a topical cluster of entries on Origins in the September 2009 issue of Scientific American. One of the entries is entitled Economic Thinking and is written by Davide Castelvecchi. He notes that:
In 1953 American mathematician Kenneth May conducted an experiment in which college students were asked to evaluate three hypothetical marriage candidates, each of whom excelled in a different quality. The students picked intelligence over looks, looks over wealth and wealth over intelligence.
Kenneth O. May was a mathematician at Carleton College, which is a pretty well-respected college. I am assuming his study was of Carleton students. In view of this outcome, I suppose it is not at all surprising that college graduates in general are about as likely, or even more so, to choose socialism over capitalism and free markets. They choose servitude over independence or is it that they choose that others should serve and they, the new elite, should dictate, never understanding that the vast majority of the college graduates themselves must wind up being those who serve the dictating elite. They choose falsely promised security and perpetual childhood over self-management and personal responsibility, with their open sky opportunities. Frankly, my dear, they are a confused and befuddled lot!

It was clear to me long before high school that I would pick intelligence over looks, looks over wealth, and that wealth was of no significant concern. It was also clear to me that I would pick capitalism over socialism, individual rights over servitude, self-management over servitude, and self-responsibility over promised security.

In the last few days an environmentalist commenter to one of my entries asked why I did not have more respect for the published advocates of catastrophic global warming due to man's emissions of CO2? I did not answer that particular question head on, because my original text had already answered it and the commenter had simply not bothered to read the text he was commenting on. Primarily, I am not impressed by their arguments and I am unfavorably impressed by their conflicts of interest. The most heavily published AGWs are those who are paid full time to publish on the subject, almost always by governments seeking to expand their powers. Those writing the articles are motivated strongly by a desire to become well-known and accepted by their peers in academia and the grant-giving agencies of governments by publishing dramatic results, which these days mean catastrophic predictions for the future of mankind. Almost all of these peers are dominated by socialists, man-loathing environmentalists, and in short those who would plan to pick a spouse with:
  • intelligence over looks
  • looks over wealth
  • wealth over intelligence
Of course, once you actually make a pick, this contradiction of qualities valued is not realized, but the consequences of the confusion and the cluelessness are realized in the many bad choices made.

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