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Proof: Republicans really do like their constituents as dumb as possible

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Senior member
Nov 17, 2019
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Work History

After graduation from Lipscomb University, Roberts worked for Touche Ross and Company (now Deloitte). In 1985, he started his own accounting practice which he sold in 1990.

In 1990, Roberts opened a chain of bicycle retailers. Roberts also served as President and Chairman of the National Bicycle Dealers Association. He closed his stores as a result of losses incurred by the 2010 Tennessee floods.
Roberts now owns Resource Network LLC, a company that provides accounting, finance, and technology professionals on a temporary or contract basis.


For thee, but not for me?

He can have a degree and employ degreed people but ... ????
 

Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
7,873
4,874
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In my experience, right-wingers aren't so much anti-education as they are against education that develops critical thinking skills, that encourages you to question the status quo instead of preparing you to serve it. Anything that makes you more than a cog in the machine.

Engineering or medical science degree? No problem. Any arts degree, no matter how practical? It's an existential danger, especially if it leads to you questioning conventions and traditions.

Of course, in the case of this politician, it's not so much a revolt against education as it is kicking the ladder out once his family has climbed up.
 

MtnMan

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2004
4,304
2,257
136
In my experience, right-wingers aren't so much anti-education as they are against education that develops critical thinking skills, that encourages you to question the status quo instead of preparing you to serve it. Anything that makes you more than a cog in the machine.

Engineering or medical science degree? No problem. Any arts degree, no matter how practical? It's an existential danger, especially if it leads to you questioning conventions and traditions.

Of course, in the case of this politician, it's not so much a revolt against education as it is kicking the ladder out once his family has climbed up.
They seem to lean toward colleges with either "bible" or "baptist" in the name, a school that clearly does not condone critical thinking.
 
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JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,273
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They seem to lean toward colleges with either "bible" or "baptist" in the name, a school that clearly does not condone critical thinking.
Most religious colleges are not bastions of critical thinking!
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
9,484
2,293
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Most religious colleges are not bastions of critical thinking!

Which is why Roberts is completely fine with Lipscomb.....since it's a faith/fundamentalist/ultra-conservative religion-based college.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,946
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In my experience, right-wingers aren't so much anti-education as they are against education that develops critical thinking skills, that encourages you to question the status quo instead of preparing you to serve it. Anything that makes you more than a cog in the machine.

Engineering or medical science degree? No problem. Any arts degree, no matter how practical? It's an existential danger, especially if it leads to you questioning conventions and traditions.

Of course, in the case of this politician, it's not so much a revolt against education as it is kicking the ladder out once his family has climbed up.

This seems true, but there's is some basis for a belief in prioritising practical subjects like engineering, certainly where societies are poorer.

Also, it's been observed that engineers (and medics) are greatly over-represented among terrorists, particularly the Islamist variety. I mean, there's a lot of statistical evidence to support that. Though the reasons seem complex - engineering and medicine are highly valorised in the sorts of societies that tend to produce terrorism, and furthermore, engineering presumably involves practical skills that are useful for bomb-making.

There's an interesting overlap, it seems to me, between the right-wing belief in engineering being better than sociology to which you refer, and a left-wing 'progressive' attitude that is quite similar.

From the early Soviet Russia to post-colonial India, quite apart from the practical usefulness, there's always been a strong cultural belief that engineering represents progress and modernity. A huge proportion of the early Bolshevik supporters were engineers, proud of having self-taught their way out of rural idiocy. They tended to detest the peasantry that they'd escaped from.

Even in the US there was a time when engineering was associated with being left-wing, favouring big government projects and rational systems for organising the world (like, say, socialism).

And furthermore people from societies not far removed from peasant poverty, or from groups who get discriminated against in employment, are quite reasonably going to want their children to do something that will definitely get them a job (though that trait among Jews seems to lead to a position where Israel has more doctors than it has use for and they end up driving taxis).

There also seems to be (much weaker) evidence that engineers are also over-represented among climate-change deniers, possibly because of the way engineers are taught and the way they think about science.

I think right-wing US anti-intellectualism is a specific thing, not necessarily a trait of all forms of right-winger everywhere, but it does seem to have something in common with the British aristocratic huntin' and shootin' culture, that also despises the intellect...it's just gone downmarket in the US.
 
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Commodus

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 2004
7,873
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This seems true, but there's is some basis for a belief in prioritising practical subjects like engineering, certainly where societies are poorer.

Also, it's been observed that engineers (and medics) are greatly over-represented among terrorists, particularly the Islamist variety. I mean, there's a lot of statistical evidence to support that. Though the reasons seem complex - engineering and medicine are highly valorised in the sorts of societies that tend to produce terrorism, and furthermore, engineering presumably involves practical skills that are useful for bomb-making.

There's an interesting overlap, it seems to me, between the right-wing belief in engineering being better than sociology to which you refer, and a left-wing 'progressive' attitude that is quite similar.

From the early Soviet Russia to post-colonial India, quite apart from the practical usefulness, there's always been a strong cultural belief that engineering represents progress and modernity. A huge proportion of the early Bolshevik supporters were engineers, proud of having self-taught their way out of rural idiocy. They tended to detest the peasantry that they'd escaped from.

Even in the US there was a time when engineering was associated with being left-wing, favouring big government projects and rational systems for organising the world (like, say, socialism).

And furthermore people from societies not far removed from peasant poverty, or from groups who get discriminated against in employment, are quite reasonably going to want their children to do something that will definitely get them a job (though that trait among Jews seems to lead to a position where Israel has more doctors than it has use for and they end up driving taxis).

There also seems to be (much weaker) evidence that engineers are also over-represented among climate-change deniers, possibly because of the way engineers are taught and the way they think about science.

I think right-wing US anti-intellectualism is a specific thing, not necessarily a trait of all forms of right-winger everywhere, but it does seem to have something in common with the British aristocratic huntin' and shootin' culture, that also despises the intellect...it's just gone downmarket in the US.
To a degree this is an American (really, North American) thing. I'd argue that it's partly because cultures in Asia, Europe and elsewhere treat art more as an intrinsic part of life than some wholly separate thing. Pretty hard not to when classic paintings and iconic temples may be a short hop away.

It's safe to say that, on this side of the planet, many conservatives see colleges and universities as little more than expensive trade schools where the arts 'get in the way.'
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
14,528
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You can have a DDS or an MD, and still be ignorant of matters in the world at large.

Once told my former dentist that if he were to read "The Wealth of Nations" (1776) by Adam Smith, he should also read "Das Kapital" by Marx (~ 1850). He almost went into a hand-wringing panic! He became seriously distressed! "No! No!" he told me. To the seeker of Truth, it would seem a foregone conclusion to read the rebuttal to Smith. [Things moved slowly in those days, so it took about 75 years.]

Maybe that's like asking an Evangelical to read the Quran or the Bhagavad Gita, but Jefferson had those books in his library, and Jesuits study them -- or have been known to do so.
 
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Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,813
1,705
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This seems true, but there's is some basis for a belief in prioritising practical subjects like engineering, certainly where societies are poorer.

Also, it's been observed that engineers (and medics) are greatly over-represented among terrorists, particularly the Islamist variety. I mean, there's a lot of statistical evidence to support that. Though the reasons seem complex - engineering and medicine are highly valorised in the sorts of societies that tend to produce terrorism, and furthermore, engineering presumably involves practical skills that are useful for bomb-making.

There's an interesting overlap, it seems to me, between the right-wing belief in engineering being better than sociology to which you refer, and a left-wing 'progressive' attitude that is quite similar.

From the early Soviet Russia to post-colonial India, quite apart from the practical usefulness, there's always been a strong cultural belief that engineering represents progress and modernity. A huge proportion of the early Bolshevik supporters were engineers, proud of having self-taught their way out of rural idiocy. They tended to detest the peasantry that they'd escaped from.

Even in the US there was a time when engineering was associated with being left-wing, favouring big government projects and rational systems for organising the world (like, say, socialism).

And furthermore people from societies not far removed from peasant poverty, or from groups who get discriminated against in employment, are quite reasonably going to want their children to do something that will definitely get them a job (though that trait among Jews seems to lead to a position where Israel has more doctors than it has use for and they end up driving taxis).

There also seems to be (much weaker) evidence that engineers are also over-represented among climate-change deniers, possibly because of the way engineers are taught and the way they think about science.

I think right-wing US anti-intellectualism is a specific thing, not necessarily a trait of all forms of right-winger everywhere, but it does seem to have something in common with the British aristocratic huntin' and shootin' culture, that also despises the intellect...it's just gone downmarket in the US.
Engineers are also massively over represented in creating solutions to global warming, etc.

Not sure I've ever seen engineers described as lacking critical thinking skills before.
 

pmv

Diamond Member
May 30, 2008
6,946
2,256
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Engineers are also massively over represented in creating solutions to global warming, etc.

Not sure I've ever seen engineers described as lacking critical thinking skills before.
I have, many times. Read any account of those early Bolsheviks, or that paper on the disproportionate number of engineers who get involved in terrorism.

Not to mention the exasperating relative-of-a-friend (qualified engineer) who thought he alone had found the flaw in the science of climate-change that everyone else (even all the other deniers) had missed.

Osama Bin Laden studied engineering. Really not since the middle-class radical grouplets of the '60s have terrorists been drawn from social science or arts students. Since then its been predominantly engineers and medics.

I suspect those groups can be particularly prone to grab onto simple and seemingly practical answers.

But I'm not attacking engineers, just saying that there are some complicated things going on with the conservative tendency to disparage anything that isn't "practical". In particular it'sinteresting to me that the engineering mind can be drawn to the left or the right depending on the wider context (and, maybe it depends on the nature of the engineering? The guys who built dams as part of New Deal in the '30s were doing a very different kind of thing to computer geeks working in some tech start-up today)

No one group or profession have a specially profound grasp on reality. They all have their different biases.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,813
1,705
136
I have, many times. Read any account of those early Bolsheviks, or that paper on the disproportionate number of engineers who get involved in terrorism.

Not to mention the exasperating relative-of-a-friend (qualified engineer) who thought he alone had found the flaw in the science of climate-change that everyone else (even all the other deniers) had missed.

Osama Bin Laden studied engineering. Really not since the middle-class radical grouplets of the '60s have terrorists been drawn from social science or arts students. Since then its been predominantly engineers and medics.

I suspect those groups can be particularly prone to grab onto simple and seemingly practical answers.

But I'm not attacking engineers, just saying that there are some complicated things going on with the conservative tendency to disparage anything that isn't "practical". In particular it'sinteresting to me that the engineering mind can be drawn to the left or the right depending on the wider context (and, maybe it depends on the nature of the engineering? The guys who built dams as part of New Deal in the '30s were doing a very different kind of thing to computer geeks working in some tech start-up today)

No one group or profession have a specially profound grasp on reality. They all have their different biases.
I know terrorist are disportionally engineers, but that doesn't mean they lack critical thinking, probably the opposite of they are smart are driven to depression/blaming others due to lack of meaningful work. American terrorist don't tend to be engineers, for example.

Of course there are some dense engineers, just like any other profession. There are even some trained climate scientists that don't believe in global warming and try to refute it. But I also know several arts majors that lack any critical thinking skills.
 

ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
28,200
8,044
136
Engineers and those with high intelligence are more able to create an argument to reinforce their beliefs and to create a credible case for those beliefs.

The saying, “too smart for your own good”, applies here.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
33,273
2,971
126
Engineers and those with high intelligence are more able to create an argument to reinforce their beliefs and to create a credible case for those beliefs.

The saying, “too smart for your own good”, applies here.
?????? project much....
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
7,813
1,705
136
Engineers and those with high intelligence are more able to create an argument to reinforce their beliefs and to create a credible case for those beliefs.

The saying, “too smart for your own good”, applies here.
Yeah, I was going to add that a lot of engineers that deny climate change do it from not finding the research credible as opposed to falling for the oil company propaganda.

As someone that did physical heat transfer research and had to do uncertainty analysis I used to think the differences in measured data likely wasn't statistically significan, something that you see a lot in research. However, after I got out of grad school and had time to research it more I learned how they got the uncertainty down and accepted the data.
That is being a skeptic due to critical thinking, not due to a lack of it.

That being said, I've always been 100% pro reducing carbon emissions both from a resource management and health of the planet point of view.
 
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ivwshane

Lifer
May 15, 2000
28,200
8,044
136
Yeah, I was going to add that a lot of engineers that deny climate change do it from not finding the research credible as opposed to falling for the oil company propaganda.

As someone that did physical heat transfer research and had to do uncertainty analysis I used to think the differences in measured data likely wasn't statistically significan, something that you see a lot in research. However, after I got out of grad school and had time to research it more I learned how they got the uncertainty down and accepted the data.
That is being a skeptic due to critical thinking, not due to a lack of it.

That being said, I've always been 100% pro reducing carbon emissions both from a resource management and health of the planet point of view.
In order to not fall for conspiracy theories you have to be willing to use your intelligence to prove or disprove what you think you know, which is what you did. Smart people who believe in conspiracy theories aren't willing to have their beliefs discredited and instead find ways to credibly harden their views.
 
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