Sunday, January 17, 2016

Life in the Bubble

Group think is a terrible thing to behold:

In fact, few other professional spheres are as strongly skewed to the right as academia is to the left; when I looked into this a few years ago, the only professional group I could find with a similar rightward skew was Southern Baptist ministers, a comparison that neither group probably finds very flattering. Military officers are weakly conservative (two-thirds to one-third), but the enlisted are less so, and whether your business skews Democratic or Republican varies by industry and job description. Professors really do stand out as extremely politically concentrated on the left in a way that few other groups are, especially in areas like social psychology.

Which makes dating in Ann Arbor a real problem for me.

Not to get all bloggy, but the kind of thinking Megan McArdle discusses hits way too close to home.

Data point one: On a dating site, a Canadian woman (living here) once declined my invitation by saying that looking at my profile she concluded that I would have a difficult time opening up to her.

Which was an interesting conclusion drawn no doubt from indications that I am conservative. Which says way more about her state of open-mindedness than about my ability to share.

(I didn't bother to point that out. Just wished her good luck in the dating world.)

Data point two: A friend had set me up on a date with a friend of his. She was lovely and we had a great time. Before the date, my friend recommended that I not mention that I watch Fox News.

Which is interesting. My friend had no worry that I would reject his friend because she is quite liberal. But he figured she'd react badly to such an obvious signal that I am conservative.

Like I've often said, it is a crime against language that "liberal-minded" is often viewed as a synonym for "open-minded."

Not that I'm arguing that conservatives are more open-minded than liberals. Maybe they are and maybe not. I withhold judgment on that question.

It's just that liberals aren't nearly as open-minded as they think they are--notwithstanding their tolerance of views in the faculty lounge that span the range from Bernie Sanders social democrat to Maoist genocidal communist.

And whatever else you might say about my analysis here, just by living in Ann Arbor you can't say that I suffer from group think.