Social Science

Is Social Science Biased Against Conservatives?



That's the question at the heart of an interesting New Yorker article that focuses on the work of New York University social and moral psychologist Jonathan Haidt. The article opens with the now notorious occasion in which Haidt asked for a show of hands indicating political ideology during his presentation at the annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The New Yorker reports:

First came the liberals: a "sea of hands," comprising about eighty per cent of the room, Haidt later recalled. Next, the centrists or moderates. Twenty hands. Next, the libertarians. Twelve hands. And last, the conservatives. Three hands.

Social psychology, Haidt went on, had an obvious problem: a lack of political diversity that was every bit as dangerous as a lack of, say, racial or religious or gender diversity. It discouraged conservative students from joining the field, and it discouraged conservative members from pursuing certain lines of argument. It also introduced bias into research questions, methodology, and, ultimately, publications. The topics that social psychologists chose to study and how they chose to study them, he argued, suffered from homogeneity. The effect was limited, Haidt was quick to point out, to areas that concerned political ideology and politicized notions, like race, gender, stereotyping, and power and inequality. "It's not like the whole field is undercut, but when it comes to research on controversial topics, the effect is most pronounced," he later told me.

Haidt and his colleagues more formally lay out their concerns in a forthcoming article in Behavorial and Brain Sciences. From the abstract:

Psychologists have demonstrated the value of diversity—particularly diversity of viewpoints—for enhancing creativity, discovery, and problem solving. But one key type of viewpoint diversity is lacking in academic psychology in general and social psychology in particular: political diversity. This article reviews the available evidence and finds support for four claims: 1) Academic psychology once had considerable political diversity, but has lost nearly all of it in the last 50 years; 2) This lack of political diversity can undermine the validity of social psychological science via mechanisms such as the embedding of liberal values into research questions and methods, steering researchers away from important but politically unpalatable research topics, and producing conclusions that mischaracterize liberals and conservatives alike; 3) Increased political diversity would improve social psychological science by reducing the impact of bias mechanisms such as confirmation bias, and by empowering dissenting minorities to improve the quality of the majority's thinking; and 4) The underrepresentation of non-liberals in social psychology is most likely due to a combination of self-selection, hostile climate, and discrimination.

Of course, in their self-estimation liberals cannot be close-minded and discriminatory. The New Yorker notes that Harvard University psychologist Daniel Glibert explained:

"Liberals may be more interested in new ideas, more willing to work for peanuts, or just more intelligent."

Well, maybe. But some Dutch psychologists reporting the results of their survey of academic psychologists offered another reason: Overt professional discrimination against conservatives. From their study:

Hostility toward and willingness to discriminate against conservatives is widespread. One in six respondents said that she or he would be somewhat (or more) inclined to discriminate against conservatives in inviting them for symposia or reviewing their work. One in four would discriminate in reviewing their grant applications. More than one in three would discriminate against them when making hiring decisions. Thus, willingness to discriminate is not limited to small decisions. In fact, it is strongest when it comes to the most important decisions, such as grant applications and hiring.

The whole The New Yorker article is worth your attention.

For more background, see Haidt's Reason May 2012 cover article, "Born This Way?: Nature, nurture, narratives, and the making of our political personalities," and my article reporting on his research into the libertarian moral personality, "The Science of Libertarian Morality."

NEXT: Your Guide to Ignoring Midterm Election Television Coverage

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  1. Maybe the Liberals in the Social Sciences fear that Conservative might introduce something overtly scientific, like actual academic standards of behavior?

    1. But that wouldn’t explain why the situation has changed over the past half century.

  2. “Social Science” is not really science, so that right there is the problem.

    1. Nonsense. A little regression analysis and a couple hundred pages of question begging and, like magic, you have science!

      1. yeah, I love it when I see R^2 = 0.02 and they claim the data show a trend.

    2. The word social has become an adjective which robs of its clear meaning every phrase it qualifies and transforms it into a phrase of unlimited elasticity, the implications of which can always be distorted if they are unacceptable, and the use of which, as a general rule, serves merely to conceal the lack of real agreement between men regarding a formula upon which, in appearance, they are supposed to be agreed. To a large extent it seems to me that it is to the result of this attempt to dress up in political slogans in a guise acceptable to all tastes that phrases like “social market economy” and the like owe their existence. When we all use a word which always confuses and never clarifies the issue, which pretends to give an answer where no answer exists and, even worse, which is so often used as camouflage for aspirations that certainly have nothing to do with the common interest, then the time has obviously come for a radical operation, which will free us from the confusing influence of this magical incantation.

      tldr : of course ‘social science’ isn’t really science. ‘Social’ is almost always a weasel word. The very fact that something is called ‘Social X’ lets you know right away that they are talking about something that isn’t ‘X’, or they’d just call ‘X’ to start with.

    3. Not all sciences require the same level of empirical input. I don’t disagree that the term “social science” implies a hodgepodge of crackpot fields of pseudo-study, but there certainly does exist valid scientific analyses and theorizing regarding human interaction.

      1. This is, one supposes, marginally true. However, any actual “science” being done is drowning in swill, polemics, politician correctness, and bushwa.

        If Social Scientists want to be taken seriously, they desperately need to rid their discipline of the frauds, political activists, and dolts.

  3. social science, social justice, social security account, social worker. the word social appears to mean non.

    1. Social science isn’t exactly science, strictly speaking, but it is still a worthwhile area of study. Which is why it’s a damn shame that it has become so dominated by one political group.

      1. You mean people who believe in liberty are not interested or welcome in joining a club that believes society is malleable like clay, and that it only takes the proper use of government force to make it all better? I’m shocked!

      2. Its problem is that it is the type of area of study that is instantly politicized. The bias introduced by the researchers themselves almost always inevitably skews the study into ludicrousness.

        1. Well, as the article points out, psychology (and presumably other social sciences) used to have a lot more political diversity among its practitioners. I suppose that could mean that it used to be politicized in more different directions.
          It is difficult to remove any bias when the subject and object of study are the same. Maybe impossible. More diversity is probably good, but doesn’t seem terribly likely any time soon because of the sad state of academia.

  4. Is Social Science Biased Against Conservatives?

    Probably not – however, the practitioners certainly are.

  5. Conservatives are intolerant.

    Tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance.

    Thus discriminating against conservatives is an act of tolerance.

  6. “Liberals White people may be more interested in new ideas, more willing to work for peanuts, or just more intelligent.”

    Nah, that doesn’t sound discriminatory at all.

    1. Look. Liberals are smarter because their ideas are better. What’s really cool is that simply agreeing with liberals causes your IQ to jump by fifteen points. It is truly amazing. Watching the Daily Show alone causes your IQ to go up five points. Because liberals are smart.

      1. And all the smart newspapers like the NY Times confirm their worldview, so that proves they’re smart!

  7. I remember an interview with Thaddeus Russell in which he advices never telling anyone you’re a libertarian in academia if you want to be heard or given any consideration. From his experience it seems libertarians, and I would presume ancaps, have a worse reputation than your token conservative, at least among the humanities. (Say what? you want get rid of all regulations!?)

    1. It infuriates them because they can’t put us into a neat little box and start screaming about abortion and gay marriage.

      We’re just like “Yes, abortion and gay marriage are awesome, let’s talk about occupational licensing.” Frustrating.

      1. You support liberty and justice? What kind of monster are you!?!

      2. “Occupational licensing” must be some kind of dog whistle for racists.

        1. That is the only possible explanation.

          Don’t engage with the libertarians! They’re trying to trick you with their logic and reason!!!!

          1. The trendy cognitive dissonance diffuser in my groups has been accusing me of trolling. “She can’t really be against affirmative consent laws or criminalizing homophobia. She’s obviously just trying to get attention!”

            1. Moral consistency is threatening to people who use morality to status signal.

              It’s projection. Since they themselves have ulterior motives for their own moralizing, they assume everyone else must too.
              NOT signalling the same sanctimonious bullshit as everyone else can only mean that you have a hidden agenda.

            2. That’s like what I got recently in a tips-for-parents blog-&-comment group, for saying fears of stranger child molesters relating to seeing children’s pictures online are very exaggerated.

          2. Don’t engage with the libertarians! They’re trying to trick you with their logic and reason!!!!

            And this is why they hate us. It’s easy to defend irrational, inconsistent positions when your primary foe defends irrational inconsistent positions.

            I can see how they’d become infuriated and disengage when confronted with logic.

            1. I have no doubt that the offensiveness of a libertarian’s rational arguments are the source of our near universal disdain by every other political group.

              1. It’s sort of the same reason that religious people are so afraid of atheists.

                They are literally terrified that the atheist is going to have a rational argument for not believing in God. They are terrified that they might find it convncing. Atheists are therefore evil people who must be stopped.

                1. It’s sort of the same reason that religious people are so afraid of atheists.

                  That’s probably the best analogy you could possibly make about libertarians’ relationship to everyone else. If only more libertarians were atheist and more atheists were libertarian… there’d be a two fewer stereotypes for me to overcome.

              2. People tend to hate the truth.

                1. Especially when it doesn’t coincide with their bleefs.

        2. Oh yes, on that topic, he talked about how he was fired for teaching a history class. Because it was very popular with the students, the other professors wanted to find out more about it, and were aghast at the well “racism” and the other politically-incorrect goodness that went on. It was basically stuff he talks about in A Renegade History of the United States.

          He didn’t have tenure, so it was ironic and sad, because he was probably like the most liberal professor, in the truest sense, at his college.

      3. It’s good that at least some liberals like Matt Yglesias and Dean Baker recognize (and write about) the issues with occupational licensing. Hopefully, we can make progress.

        1. Talk about picking at the mote in your right eye, while ignoring the log sticking out of your left eye…

      4. Yes, abortion and gay marriage are awesome, let’s talk about occupational licensing.”

        Until they conflate gay marriage with involuntary personal servitude in which case you’re a homophobe again.

        1. Yes, they are always trying to change the subject back to some culture-war issue, so they can avoid discussing the venality of their economic policies.

          1. The funnest part is that these days, they’re just as obviously wrong on social issues as economic ones.

        2. “I don’t care that you say you want government to stop picking and choosing who can love and live together, YOU WON’T FORCE THAT GUY TO BAKE THEM A CAKE YOU BIGOT!”

          1. I haven’t been accused of being a homophobe lately, but I have seen people’s faces contort as they’re trying to find a convenient way to dismiss me when I argue against that crap. They really don’t have much else besides accusing people of hate.

            Oh, “internalized homophobia” and “internalized misogyny” are good ones, but I’ve only seen those on the internet.

            1. Ha! Yeah, I love when the opposition argument devolves into their having Professor X abilities that can pluck my true motives out from the Stygian blackness of my subconscious.

              1. My favorite thing is when someone who checks all the boxes in the leftist privilege list starts droning on about how people who hold my positions are privileged cishet white males who are too ignorant and self-centered to see how wrong they are… assuming the whole time that I must be a leftist, and not even realizing that my existence is a dagger in the heart to all his bullshit.

                Of course, I just have sit there silently, because they’re so uninterested in the truth that if I came out as non-progressive, their reaction would be less “Wow, I never realized!” and more “BURN THE WITCH!” I’d never work again.

                1. They don’t even toss you in the river first to see if you float?

                  What kind of respect for science is that?!

                  1. THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED

    2. Absolutely. “Temporary adjustment to the wrong side” is far less threatening than “do away with entirely.”

    3. Speaking as a social scientist/humanities academic (linguistics falls between the two) I can certainly attest to the fact that I keep my politics to myself in faculty meetings (I’m in an English department, so you can only imagine…)
      It’s just the default assumption that you’re a leftish democrat or further/worse….

      1. Do you ever witness the leftish-democrats get into arguments with the further/worse types?
        I bet that’s entertaining.

        I’m morally superior to you! No , *I* am! No **I** am.

  8. Honestly, I kind of think it is better to allow these people to keep on isolating themselves in increasingly insular academic communities, until they become utterly detached from the reality that the rest of us live in and proceed to totally discredit themselves when they come across is deranges aliens, which is what they usually sound like to me.

    I’m sure the social sciences will survive and rebuild, and probably be better off for it. Having some sort of affirmative action committee for conservatives will just enable them to keep a few token conservatives around to abuse, which would be cruel, in the first place, and might also enable them to remain connected to some semblance of reality. The conservative would just be a big foil that would deflect their urge to moralize onto targets other than themselves. It’s more fun to watch them try to one-up each other in the moral santimony department.

    1. as deranged aliens..

    2. Yes, trying to force their way in is unproductive.

      The problem I see is that social sciences already have the full sanction of the rulers, and it doesn’t matter how detached they become. Like Lysenkoism, their work only needs to support the existing power structure, not work, and it will be quietly shoved under the rug a decade after the harm is obvious to everyone. By then, it will be too late to do anything about it.

      We may be most of the way to that point anyway.

      1. The social sciences need more conservatives. Like David Brooks.

    3. Well, I think the isolation is going to happen anyway even if there are attempts to “diversify” social sciences by bringing in more conservatives.

      The stupider and more illogical one’s philosophy gets, the less it can handle contact with differing ideas. “Liberals” have been going FULL RETARD for a while now, and it’s so easy to punch holes in their ideas at this point that they are actively avoiding any kind of dissenting opinion as much as they possibly can. It can only get worse, because the only way for it to get better is for them to give up on the stupidity. But that means admitting they were fucking morons in the first place. And since their TEAM affiliation is their identity, they can’t do that.

      They’re trapped. And they’re going to continue on this death spiral and will take everyone with them if allowed.

      1. You say this as if people in the social sciences have any real influence on anything other than the journals that only they themselves read.

        1. I’m talking about “liberals”/progressives in general. The social sciences are zero influence, but in other areas, they aren’t.

        2. Unfortunately, ever since Brandeis first got the Supreme Court to consider what would otherwise be considered superfluous to the law, they actually HAVE had an impact. Brown v. Board, even if you agree with the result (which I do) is a disturbing read if only because it’s less legal argument than it is journal article.


    Conservatives are just upset because they’re anti-science, and the research clearly shows that they’re only motivated by racism and misogyny.

  10. “Liberals may be more interested in new ideas, more willing to work for peanuts, or just more intelligent.”

    More intelligent based on what research… Social science? What are the odds!

    1. Well, conservatives are by definition less open to new ideas.

      1. Well, conservatives are by definition less open to new ideas.

        Which is in and of itself a ridiculous concept on which to base a philosophy. What’s old is good what’s new is bad? Likewise for the inverse, which is the progressives.

        One may as well base a philosophy on the color purple. It makes as much sense.

        1. It’s a terrible base for a philosophy, but not altogether a bad rule of thumb for people who don’t give a damn about philosophy(most of the population). The thinking behind the “old is good” idea is that the old ways, customs, traditions etc are the result of thousands or millions of trials conducted by individuals to find what “worked best”. That idea is not completely without merit. It also speaks to peoples general preference for known results over unknown.

        2. That’s why nobody’s philosophy is actually based on either of those. There are conservatives who value a lot the authority of the many over time, as probably being on to something (or why would those ideas have lasted that long), but they don’t base their whole philosophy on that.

      2. Except that everyone is more than the sum of their political label (even if they like to pretend otherwise). Conservatives don’t accept every old idea and we all know that liberals are not as open minded as they claim to be.

  11. “Of course, in their self-estimation liberals cannot be close-minded and discriminatory.”

    Who watches the watchmen?

  12. As I see it Social Science, like Keynesian economics, is nothing more than an appeal to credentialism that politicians use to justify terrible policy.

    “Look at that professor over there. See how smart he is? He says this is a good idea, so therefore it must be.”

    1. Add Climate Science to the list.

      1. This is why intelligent people don’t pay attention to you guys. Science isn’t optional. If you’re too dumb to figure out what current science says about something, you’re too dumb to be a scientist, don’t you think?

        1. Science isn’t optional, but “social science” is.
          Seeing as how they are really flattering themselves by using the word “science” to refer to themselves anyways.

          1. If you are a climate change denier you don’t deserve to hold an academic position anywhere. From what I gather that excludes almost the entire conservative movement. Maybe it’s not that some conspiracy of liberals has pushed conservatives out of academia in the last 50 years. Maybe what’s been defined as conservatism has become a closed loop of cult-like fact-denying idiocy, completely unsuited for empirical research. And social sciences are scientific to the extent that they rely on empirical methods. I guess to be judged individually on those grounds.

            1. Is this the way you feel about economics, Tony?

            2. No one is a climate change denier. Stop it.

              1. No one is a climate change denier.

                This. I have never heard anyone actually contend that the climate does not change. Why? It is easily falsifiable because weather/climate is always in flux per daily/seasonal/yearly observation. This is a statement used to deflect from any real argument that pertains to the theory of AGW. When you think about it for even half a second, it is apparent that it has no tangible meaning.

              2. I’m referring to people who deny the overwhelming evidence on this subject and you goddamn well know it. If you want to make an idiot out of yourself in public and deny firmly established evidence, go right ahead, but don’t pretend that you’re not doing so. Be a hero for the greenhouse-effect-is-a-hoax hypothesis, not a coward.

                1. It’s not a hoax. It is quite simply not supported by the evidence.

                2. Be a hero for the greenhouse-effect-is-a-hoax hypothesis, not a coward.

                  I, gladly, will. The effects of co2 on the climate system is far overstated and you know it, as it has been pointed out to you repeatedly on here. The IPCC’s own studies do not back it’s claims, as has been sufficiently demonstrated. You can come here and scream “SCIENCE. IS. SETTLED.” and drop ad-homs all you want, but that does not change reality.

            3. If you are a climate change denier you don’t deserve to hold an academic position anywhere.

              Wow. I think that is the most anti-science statement anyone could possibly make.

              Why should anyone, anywhere believe the scientific “consensus” if non-consensus viewpoints are being actively supressed?

              1. Is it scientific to give consideration to creationists and flat earthers? Aren’t broad questions sometimes settled, and doesn’t it tarnish science to claim that unsupported hypotheses deserve to be given the same deference as well-supported ones?

                Remember that climate change denialism comes with a whole set of its own hypothesis. (And you guys know what I’m talking about when I refer to denialism so shut the fuck up.)

                1. Your hypothesis is unsupported. None of your predictions have come to fruition.

                2. Oh please. Typical progressive debate tactics. Try to avoid actual argument by making it verboten to even *question* it, by lumping your opponent in with marginalized beliefs.

                  You people are scum. Everyone can see the mendacity of what you are doing. And I’m I believer in global warming.

            4. If you are a climate change denier you don’t deserve to hold an academic position anywhere.

              What a very unscientific sentiment. I deny the validity of many theories of anthropogenic climate change; namely the ones that have failed to accurately predict changes in conditions, those that have not demonstrated the human source of the change, those that have not demonstrated the existence of said change being a problem and those that inexorably call for the empowerment of the state at the expense of liberty. That pretty much rules out every mainstream anthropogenic climate change theory in existence.

              Fascists like you don’t deserve to mop up puke in an elementary school.

              1. You aren’t qualified to deny their validity. You are inserting politics into science and mouthing bullshit talking points.

                1. You don’t need to be a climate scientist to know their predictions do not match reality. There has been no significant increase in average global temperature in 17 years.

                  The scientific method, how does it work?

            5. Re: Tony,

              Maybe it’s not that some conspiracy of liberals has pushed conservatives out of academia in the last 50 years

              What I like is how you tend to generalize whenever it suits you. “Academia” can mean from theoretical physicists to Afro-centrist quacks, yet you clearly do not make such distinction in your effort to demean and defame people.

        2. Science isn’t optional

          Says the man who has no concept of what science is.

          Hey Tony. Please state and explain the steps of the Scientific Method.

          1. *Tony hurriedly consults google*

            1. I wish he would.

              A. He might learn something.

              B. I want to ask him what step AGW is on and what the next step should be.

              1. BE careful, he’s got a 5 Year Plan for everything.

          2. Science isn’t *only* what you learned in 5th grade science class. Also, economics isn’t *only* what you learned in Econ 101. This is a pattern you guys have established: learn the basics of something and assume you know it all. (Then have some rightwing propagandist spoonfeed you some opinions.)

            1. Yeah, but I might have picked up a little more than a 5th grade science class when I got my Aerospace Engineering degree and I may have learned a little more than Econ 101 when I got my Masters in Business Administration.

              Fuck off moron.

              I knew you’d slink back in here after everyone left.

        3. Re: Tony,

          This is why intelligent people don’t pay attention to you guys.

          Oh, I’ve talked to a lot of smart people, Tony. The problem is that you continue to think that smart = little red Marxians.

          I’ve found after 15 years of discussing religion, freedom and economics in many forums like the great HowStuffWorks forum (before it was closed down) that leftists are superficial, naive and stupid. Some are very eloquent, but not too smart.

          Oh, just like you! Imagine that!

          1. Re: Tony,

            If you are a climate change denier you don’t deserve to hold an academic position anywhere.

            See? What did I say? Superficial, naive and stupid. Just behold that argument.

            I would also throw in there: dogmatic.

          2. Did you just call it “eloquent” ?

            1. I feel particularly magnanimous today.

          3. But you’re a proven idiot.

    2. Similar in history: it’s amazing how many liberal historians do research and come up with conclusions that are a de facto endorsement of statist policies. Confirmation bias? What’s that?

      Of course, in previous decades, conservative historians and consensus historians did the same kind of thing.

    3. Other kinds of economics are social science too. I don’t think it is quite fair to say that it is “nothing more than an appeal to credentialism that politicians use to justify terrible policy”. There certainly is a lot of that. But there are still plenty of people in the Austrian school and people in other fields doing work with no political intentions.

      1. seriously? I’ve heard Austrians called a lot of things, but apolitical is not one of them.

        1. I didn’t mean to imply that. Just that they aren’t only used to justify terrible policy.

  13. I didn’t know socialism = liberal. Is that Haidt’s definition of liberal? Zombie John Locke’s gonna be pissed.

  14. Is Social Science a misnomer?

  15. The world doesn’t need more conservative social scientists. We need more liberal entrepreneurs, so they can see that government has no interest in helping them “build that”.

    1. Also so they can do something more productive than sitting around thinking up studies to show how intelligent liberals are.

    2. I was watching that fat fuck Zimmern guy on Travel Channel last night, and he was in Portland, OR. One restauranteur he was talking to talked about dealing with honest and high-quality purveyors and how being able to have those resources available to buy for his restaurant was awesome, blah, blah, blah.

      Anyway, I realized the fucking hipster douche was perfectly describing capitalism, and the dumb shit probably doesn’t even know it, and would be horrified if someone explained it to him.

      1. Actually, I used to serve him when I worked at a deli in high school in MN and he was still the local news chef. He was a douche then and it doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s a liberal douche on top of it.

        1. It was the Portland restauranteur douche that was describing capitalism without realizing it, not Zimmern.

          Though I think Zimmern is a douche anyways. And WHY WON’T HIS AUDIO PEOPLE SHUT OFF HIS MICROPHONE WHEN HE’S EATING??? By all that is holy!

          1. I like food shows, but I hate when they eat on camera. It seems even when the mic doesn’t pick up the chomping and slurping, you have to hear borderline orgasm noises when anyone eats so much as an olive. It makes me uncomfortable.

          2. Meh. I never had much against Zimmern, though I only know him from the show. He seemed just mildly lefty. Lefty milquetoast. But I repeat myself.

            Of the Travel Channel food shows, No Reservations was and is still the best, and I don’t care what you think of Bourdain.

            1. I never noticed any political leanings from Zimmern. I hate his awkward joviality. And the fact that I hear every slurp and chew because his audio people seem to think his mastication sounds are awesome.

              1. I’ll give you that.

                His politics only very subtly made appearances, so there really wasn’t anything to complain about.

            2. I agree that Bourdain’s show, in all its iterations, is the best. But God help me there are times when I want to bury a claw hammer in his forehead.

              1. Sure.

                I do give him a lot of credit for apparently coming to the realization that the “correct thinking” people he ran with when he was young don’t nearly understand the world as much as they think they do.

                He seems to genuinely be able to find common ground with a great many people. Pretty remarkable for a pissy, angry, sarcastic chef of a popular NYC restaurant who became famous off of being a total dick.

                1. Fair point. He definitely shows a willingness to at least engage with those that he might have reflexively been repulsed by earlier in his life (I’m thinking firing automatic weapons on Ted Nugent’s ranch). Where he still gets me are moments like when he’s in Libya and the woman guide he’s been with is off to the side eating by herself and he not only stays silent on camera but then mealymouths the situation during narration.

                  I definitely give him (and Jamie Oliver) credit for sparking my interest in food though. Received a signed copy of Kitchen Confidential for Christmas last year but haven’t cracked it yet.

                  1. Same here with interest in food, though it partly came from my own travels. The best of that series often had little to do with food, though. The Lebanon episode, obviously, was huge. Anytime he goes to Vietnam (you can tell he genuinely is in love with the place). The Laos episode was good, too.

                    1. LOVED the Vietnam episodes. I honestly couldn’t have given that country less thought until watching the shows he did there. Now it’s on the travel destination list.

            3. I like Zimmern but he – like most foodies and most lefties – tends to be a little too enraptured with the “local” and “slow” food nonsense.

      2. The restaurant industry is subject to so many absurd regulations, I just can’t believe that guy was anything but a master marketer playing to his crowd of far left commies.

      3. Anyway, I realized the fucking hipster douche was perfectly describing capitalism, and the dumb shit probably doesn’t even know it, and would be horrified if someone explained it to him.

        And the sharing economy folks.

    3. The government is like an ex wife, but worse because it doesn’t only want “half”.

  16. Anyone remember the glorious Sokal hoax? The one where a physicist argued that quantum mechanics was a social construct? I kind of wish more ‘hard science’ folks would actively troll the social sciences that way.

    1. IIRC, he argued that gravity is a social construct, which is even more ludicrous.

  17. Social science? Is there anyone out there but paleocons even talking about that taboo topic?

  18. Clearly we need some affirmative action.

    1. Yes, government enforced racism is, clearly, what we need. (Also, commas are a thing. Check them out.)

      1. After a single introductory adverb? Don’t lecture me incorrectly on punctuation. I have forgotten more about commas than you’ve learned.

    2. Re: Tony,

      Clearly we need some affirmative action.

      That’s your solution to everything, isn’t it?

  19. You know who else used “science” to further their own agenda?

    1. Dr. Frankenstein?

    2. Mengele?

    3. Bill and Ted?

    4. Bill Nye?

    5. Dr. Clayton Forrester?

    6. Jamie, Adam, Tory, Kari, and Grant?

  20. The effect was limited, Haidt was quick to point out, to areas that concerned political ideology and politicized notions, like race, gender, stereotyping, and power and inequality. “It’s not like the whole field is undercut, but when it comes to research on controversial topics, the effect is most pronounced,” he later told me.

    I thought that WAS the whole field.

  21. I left the world of academic public health because I got tired of arguing with Che Guevera-worshipping idiots. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of spending an entire career trying to convince people that free choice is not just an illusion propagated by the Koch brothers.

  22. It discouraged conservative students from joining the field,

    That conclusion can only come from someone who doesn’t understand even the most basic of economics (and he calls himself a social scientist?). Anyway, could the answer be that the reason the social sciences are filling up with leftists in such a disproportionate manner is because leftists value the social sciences more than being, oh let’s not beat around the bush too much: productive?

    1. Define productive.

  23. Harvard University psychologist Daniel Glibert explained:

    “Liberals may be more interested in new ideas, more willing to work for peanuts, or just more intelligent.”

    And for Harvard University psychologist Daniel Gilbert, those things are supposed to be mutually-exclusive, no?

    I mean, working for peanuts can’t be the hallmark of smartness, or is it? A smart person can’t simply be one who is open to any new idea no matter how ridiculous or preposterous, correct?

    What an idiot. You read his interpretation of the situation, you read his three possible explanations, none of which are possibly related to one another, and people [ok, Tony] still think that leftists are smart?

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