back to article Study links dimwits to conservative ideology

British and American children who are less intelligent are more likely to grow up to be conservative and/or bigots, according to new research published in Physiological Science. The research study, "Bright minds and dark attitudes", used data from two British studies that tested the intelligence of children born in 1958 and …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    George W Bush

    Nothing more to say.

  2. Steve McPolin
    Holmes

    oblig quote

    I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it.

    - John Stuart Mill

    1. Jim 59

      John Stuart Mill

      ...was a Liberal MP, so trashing the Conservative party was part of his job. Go John.

      In seeking to hit the headlines, the authors of this study have used partisan language and thereby left themselves open to accusations of political bias. A truly scientific study would not reveal so clearly the voting patterns of its authors.

      Prof. Hodson concludes his report with some disturbing talk. I think he wants to make us all model citizens, preferably by using high voltage electrodes. Oh dear. Extreme ideologies might thrive on housing estates, but they are usually born in ivory towers.

  3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    FAIL

    Biased much?

    So, homophobia is a right-wing trend? Strange, someone obviously forgot to tell Marx and Engels, who were both homophobic, and that news definately didn't reach Joe Stalin (he re-introduced anti-gay laws in Soviet Russia in the '30s). And don't even think of telling it to left-leaning Robert Mugabe (introduced laws criminalising homosexuality in Zimbabwe in 1995).

    All the study shows is thick people are more likely to fall for the bogus arguements put forward by racists and homophobes. Adding the label "conservative" is simply displaying a political bias on the scientists' part.

    1. Darren Barratt
      Facepalm

      Not biased at all. You won't find anyone who identifies them self as left wing now. It's not the 30's anymore. And Mugabe is left wing in the same way Germanys National Socialist party were socialist. ie, only for a very restricted part of society.

      Your statement is up there with yanks who claim that democrats are fascist because the democratic party supported slavery in the 1800's. Things move on and conservatives are stupid.

      1. David Dawson
        Unhappy

        You carried the crowd up until the unfortunate sweeping generalisation at the end.

      2. Roger Stenning
        FAIL

        Wrong.

        I know at least ten people who consider themselves to be Left Wing, all of them at work; several of them are strong labour Party members, with one of the remainder considering himself to be a Tory. Go figure. I'm somewhere in the middle of the road, politically - I have both Left and Right leanings on a variety of topics, and for the rest, I'm a centrist.

        Your opinion therefore, is invalid.

      3. Tom 13

        We don't claim Dems are fascists because they supported slavery in the 1800s,

        we say they are fascists because like Mussolini and Hitler they treat people as groups rather than individuals and promote a political ideology that says the state should dictate how they live their private lives, although they occasionally make specious arguments about supporting individual freedom.

    2. Naughtyhorse
      Coat

      Biased much

      only against racist homophobic rightwing morons.

      ah i guess that's what got you so upset :-)

      i guess yours is the one where the shoe fits

      1. Naughtyhorse

        just noticed...

        it's matt bryant

        nuff said

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        RE: Naughtyhorse

        "only against racist homophobic rightwing morons...." A typical and illustrative example of the attempts of the left to try and attach the "racist and homophobic" labels to anything even slightly to the right, neatly ignoring the many glaring examples both of anit-homophobic and anti-racist actions by "conservatives" and the history of homophobic and racist actions of those on the left (for example, try reading up on American trade unions and their involvement in the Asiatic Exclusion League). Homophobia and racism are usually induced before a child reaches the age of ten, usually by family and peer groups, and long before they understand the differences between capitalism and communism. Children aren't born racist or homophobic, they are taught to be. It is an unfortunate fact that children of "thick" parents will usually pick up their parents' idiocies, like racism and homophobia, and thick parents exist on both the right and the left, though it seems you are presenting a good example for them being mor prevalent on the left.

    3. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Hi, Matt

      I just wanted to point out the fact that the article is about *tendencies*, not absolute guarantees of behavior. But you keep whacking that straw man until he falls over.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Poor reading comprehension I see. You wouldn't happen to be conservative, would you?

      1. Local Group
        Devil

        Hey, Matt Bryant is okay.

        He's just a bad cop in search of a good one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          @Bad cop/good cop

          I never heard that before. I think thats actually profound!

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        RE: "Poor reading comprehension I see"

        Yes, I would class myself as a Conservative, thought there are many and different views amongst Conservatives, so the "one-size-fits-all" label you are obviously trying to apply is not going to work. For example, my IQ score is over 140, so you can skip any attempts to label me a knuckle-dragging Nazi.

        The article seems to say "thick kids more likely to be homophobic and racist", which would seem to be a direct (and obvious) correllation between poor education and low IQ with silliness like racism and homophobia. It then states that such thinking is "conservative", neatly sidelining the fact that such views have been common amongst illeducated lefties for years too. It also avoids the point that socialism and other leftist ideas are more common amongst the poor, the same people that are often the least educated and have a demostrateably lower IQ, and therefore are more prone to copy the racist behaviour they see around them. The point is not discussed in polite society as it often edges into comparrisons of underachievement in poor, coloured children compared to wealthier, white children (Yahoogle Arthur Jensen for the kind of PC shrieking that results). But the simple fact is homphobia and racism are learnt by peer/parent examples long before political values are adopted.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: RE: "Poor reading comprehension I see"

          >For example, my IQ score is over 140

          I generally try to understand a persons point of view but as soon as they mention their IQ as if it's evidence of anything I switch off. Anybody who has ever felt the need to take an IQ test or has agreed to take one as part of some selection process loses all credibility.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            RE: Re: RE: "Poor reading comprehension I see"

            "....or has agreed to take one as part of some selection process loses all credibility." I had to take several, but I assume you simply don't get a look at roles where it might be an issue.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Happy

              @Matt

              >I assume you simply don't get a look at roles where it might be an issue.

              You are correct, for whatever I've done my perceived intelligence has bever been an issue. Now if they start using attitude tests...

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                Happy

                RE: @Matt

                "....for whatever I've done my perceived intelligence has bever been an issue...." Well, Chris, as my old man used to say, "a bin man may be a nice guy, but there's a reason he ended up as bin man".

          2. Tom 13

            A typical leftist remark.

            The alleged scientific study purports to equate intelligence (or lack thereof) with particular ideologies (a particularly gauling tactic, but one for which the left is well known). The most commonly used measure of intelligence (whether correctly or not) is IQ. It therefore follows that someone with a high IQ and is not racist or a knuckle-dragging throwback as the study purports, is a data point against the study. Perhaps the study filtered its data the same way certain alleged scientists at CRU did?

        2. Tom 13

          Yes the meme is that racism is taught not learned,

          but if you are a conservative, you ought to know to dig more deeply than that. My observation is that children cover the full spectrum of behaviors and learn social mores as they are taught to them. Yes, they are more apt to follow parents than teachers, and parents usually have more influence. I further observe that all children exhibit some form of prejudice, it's just that in current society some of these prejudices pass for being educated.

    5. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      @ Matt about Marx and Engels

      You uneducated clown should go and learn to read.

      You are right about Stalin though. The guy was definitely an ass. Oh, and guess who he got rid of first? Marx, Engels and their friends.

      Your post(s) would seem to correlate nicely with the study...

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        RE: @ Matt about Marx and Engels

        "You uneducated clown...." Both Marx and Engels used homophobic language in their private correspondence. Engels described homosexuals as "extremely against nature" and "pederasts" - I know it's the trend amongst socilaists to sweep such historical facts under the carpet, but are you telling me that sounds like a warm welcoming of homosexuality?

        Stalin got rid of anyone that he thought posed a threat to his rule, including the likes of Trotsky, Kamenev and Zinoviev. Marx was dead long before Stalin came to power, so I would suggest it is you that needs to do a lot more reading.

    6. John Bailey
      Happy

      There there... It's all a bit too complicated for you isn't it?.. Why don't you go and shout at the telly or read he Sun or something..

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Facepalm

        RE: John Bailey

        ".....It's all a bit too complicated for you isn't it?...." Your calm acceptance of spoonfed ideas would seem alot more worrying, or didn't anyone teach you to question, querstion, question? Probably not. After all, it's so much easier to just take the spoonfeeding rather than do some thinking for yourself, right? Just keep trotting out those stereotypes and leave the thinking to those with a tad more capability.

    7. Voland's right hand Silver badge
      Devil

      Why do you think of Stalin as "left wing"?

      Stalin is right wing. As right as any other bloody dictator. He was a racist too. Ever heard of Jewish Soviet republic?

      I have a 1953 world Atlas printed in one of the Soviet satellite states which I keep as a relic to show to the kids when they spew bullshit along those lines of Stalin being "left". There the Soviet union has 16 republics, not 15. Well, I am not surprised we do not get to hear a lot about republic no 16 - there are not that many survivors. That is kind-a expected when you put a ghetto straight in the middle of the Syberian encefalitis highest prevalence area, put the deported "population" to mine Uranium and rare earths and call it a Jewish Soviet republic (the Atlas has the list of industries for that ghetto too).

      He did not just introduce anti-gay laws. He also introduced per-nationality quotas in universities which resulted in a system where as Russian you could get into uni on somewhere between 4 and 5 GPA (between B and A english/american equivalent). As a jew quite often a straight A academic record and A on all of your exams was not enough.

      All of that was of course applied to the jews he did not shoot. Prior to 1937 the Bolshevik party in Russia had a considerable demographic skew - nationalities which had higher than the USSR average education level had disproportionally higher representation. After 1937 that was no longer the case.

      Another interesting detail - Stalin was also thick as a brick. Cunning. Calculating. No value of human life. Well, that one is expected from someone who started his career as an enforcer killing suspected "traitors" and "liberating" money from banks. And most importantly - thick as a brick.

      People should really take him for what he was - a Hitler mirror image and not assign any "left" values to him. Whatever "left" was left in USSR after the initial revocation of the NEP in the early 30-es was terminated in 1937. After that it was a dictatorship - as "right" as it gets.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        RE: Why do you think of Stalin as "left wing"?

        Ah, yet more of that "you can only call a figure a leftie if us lefties say so"! Stalin may have been a dictator but he was a left-wing, communist one, just like Mao, Pol Pot and Robert Mugabe (to name just a few). Please do give up on trying to airbrush that bit of history. Interestingly, one of the practices Stalin was a leader in was "airbrushing" others out of history (some hilarious examples at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_of_images_in_the_Soviet_Union), so I'm not surprised the practice is so common amongst today's lefties. Stalin's treatment of the Jews is also interesting given the trend for many of Jews to liberal, left-leaning politics. Indeed, the US was fearful in 1948 that Israel was destined to fall into the Soviet sphere due to the well-known leftist views of the new Israeli leaders.

      2. Dr. Ellen
        Mushroom

        "The question is, who is to be the master?"

        (Herein I speak to Darren Barratt as well.)

        If you control the definitions, you can obviously control the outcome of the argument. That, however, can mean you are speaking truth in a different language than the rest of us speak. But I get the sneaking suspicion that you think *all* dictators *must* by their very nature, be right-wing. Does this apply also to Mao, Pol Pot, Mugabe, or the various Ayatollahs of the world? (I'm not so sure of those Ayatollahs myself. Nor am I sure of North Korea. But I digress.)

        Stalin called himself a Communist. Hitler called himself a National Socialist. Both 'Communist' and 'Socialist' are considered brand names of the Left. Since these two men and they systems they created are featured members of the parade, it might well argue they applied their taint to the terms.

        I think the defining characteristic of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Mugabe, Kim-Jong-whoever, and the Ayatollahs is that they are control freaks of the highest degree. And among both the left and the right, the worst kind are the ones that need to be in charge and will do bad things to those who don't agree.

        Both the extreme left and the extreme right are characterized by there extremeness. The 'right' and 'left' parts merely add taste to the extremeness.

        1. TheOtherHobbbes

          Dictators

          are authoritarians. Authoritarians use whatever rhetoric is around to gain power, and then hold onto it.

          Here's everything anyone needs to know about authoritarian personalities and how they worK:

          http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~altemey/

          However - you only have to look at the clown show in the US that's the current Republican Primary, or our own home grown chinless wonders, to understand that there's something very broken about conservatives as people, and especially in their ability to empathise with others who aren't part of their tribe.

          Progressives - not necessarily old-fashioned left wingers - reliably score higher on tolerance, empathy, ability to deal with complexity, and IQ.

          See e.g.

          http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201003/why-liberals-are-more-intelligent-conservatives

          The conservative mind is an evolutionary throw-back. It reduces complexity to slogans, morality to I-win-you-lose, and ethics to I'm-right-because-I-have-more-money.

          It's not hard (for most of us) to understand why these aren't a good basis for a civilisation with prospects.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Fascinating book, thanks!

      3. Neil Stansbury
        FAIL

        'After that it was a dictatorship - as "right" as it gets'

        Unfortunately, your apparent knowledge on Stalinist Russia doesn't disguise your lack of understanding of even basic political philosophy.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: 'After that it was a dictatorship - as "right" as it gets'

          "Unfortunately, your apparent knowledge on Stalinist Russia doesn't disguise your lack of understanding of even basic political philosophy." Ah, philosophy. That would be more "social science" as compared to factual matters such as history, which has plenty of evidence of Stalin's communism and homophobia. Try again, that was simply pathetic.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's the first time I've seen Robert Mugabe used to support an argument

      and, unsurprisingly, it's one that fails. I'd be more inclined to look at Bob's religious upbringing than his political leanings to understand his views on homosexuality.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        FAIL

        RE: That's the first time I've seen Robert Mugabe used to support an argument

        "....I'd be more inclined to look at Bob's religious upbringing...." Mugabe became a Communist along with all ther trappings, including the main plank of "all religion is evil". Mugabe is also known to have backed ZANU-PF attacks on Christian groups in Zimbabwe, so you're really barking up the wrong tree if you want to try blaming his homophobia on his Catholic upbringing. Interestingly, just like Stalin, Mugabe was quite happy to turn on other Marxist allies (like Joshua Nkomo) when he thought they posed a threat to his rule.

        1. Steve Knox
          Facepalm

          @Matt Bryant

          Ah, I see your problem. You're conflating the two most commonly used political dimensions: Fiscal philosophy and social philosophy. There are other dimensions as well (for example, in the US we have centralized vs decentralized (i.e, federal vs state.)), but fiscal and social are almost universal in their applicability to analysis of government figures.

          For example, Stalin was indeed a leftist, fiscally speaking, as Communism is an extreme leftist economic philosophy. But socially, he was a conservative. Given the nature of this research, it seems logical to me that that the researchers are referring to social philosophy, and not economic philosophy. But if you have a convincing argument to the contrary, I'd love to hear it.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given that...

      ...the Soviet Union was a socially intolerant police state dominated by its military and security services and most people hardly owned anything, it is hard to see anything left wing about it in practice. Sounds more like a rightists wet dream, in fact!

    10. Singlewhip
      Stop

      Whatever else they were, Marx and Engels were Victorians. It is unsurprising that they reflected that era's general prejudices. While I personally do *not* agree with their politico-economic views, I feel it's inappropriate to mix the general attitudes of their era with their leftist principles. Further reading: http://goo.gl/jiWkc

    11. Chris 3

      I think you may be conservative with Conservative. The former isn't a political ideology, it is a mindset more than usually fearful of change or the unknown. As far as I can see the study doesn't frame things in terms of left wing or right wing.

    12. The Indomitable Gall

      small-c conservative

      The article is about "a conservative ideology", not "the Conservative ideology".

      Homophobia is by nature a "conservative" trait. In Stalin's time, antisemitism was a "conservative" trait. In Mugabe's case, we have a loosely Christian-based ideology -- conservative.

      The only non-conservative trait either of them showed was for self-betterment. The conservative fallacy of blacks as inferior to the white man would never get Bob anywhere. The conservative view of kings, peers and bourgeoisie would never have got Stalin anywhere. But both are pretty much defined by small-c conservatism: keep things the way they've always been.

  4. jake Silver badge

    One word.

    Duh!

  5. David Dawson
    FAIL

    Left wing, right wing, conservative, liberal, progressive etc

    All so much bollocks.

    Phrases used to conveniently group people who may have very little in common (see, US political parties).

    To my mind, we should stop (mis) using these cliches become much more refined in our political outlook.

    Pigeon holing people on a single political axis (and even 2 axes a la the political compass) is totally insufficient and makes the debate tribal and verging on useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Left wing, right wing

      Mostly I think said people choose the labels themselves. But whatever, anyone who thinks being a 'liberal' is to be an extremist is not really all there, whether an upper or lower case 'L'.

      But my take on political polarisation has long been that said people are slaves to emotion and don't calmly think things through. That's the human race without a proper education for you.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      At last

      I would not call ANY dictatorship rightwing unless it was a capitalist place.

      Usually dictatorships are left wing and authoritarian.

      But that still is not enough to describe them

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @David

      100% agree with you.

      most of us are hypocrites and only look out for negatives in opposing schools of thought to make ours seem superior.

      here's a surprise, people with higher IQ's are also more likely to be selfish, judgemental and egocentric pricks.

      it's natures way, and it's all just a sham anyway. few thousand years from now, no one will even be around to give a shit about which school of thought was more intelligent. our existence is nothing more than a glitch in the time-line of the universe.

  6. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

    Fear

    Well biggottry is a way to shield oneself from anything new or foreign; mostly by fear, due to the inability to understand. So...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any word on moderate conservatives?

    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      Moderation...

      Moderate conservatives are moderately retarded*. See, that's the beauty of statistics (when applied properly): it's not about extremes, it's about tendencies.

      *according to that study and provided the stats are OK.

  8. ScottAS2

    It's quite simple

    Facts have a well-known liberal bias.

    1. John G Imrie Silver badge

      Facts have a well-known liberal bias.

      So that explains why there aren't any on Fox News.

      I new there was a reason for it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Indeed

      That's probably why only 6% of US scientists are Republicans.

      1. Dr. Ellen
        Stop

        Definitions again!

        First, define 'scientist'. If you include 'social scientists' in the mix, you'd definitely push things to the left. If you include engineers, the needle might well swing to the right.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          If they are scientists as well as engineers...

          ...then they are scientists. If they are not scientists, they ain't. As for social scientists, I don't know whether they are included. Either way, 94% rejection of the Republicans suggests a strong dislike across science in general. I would expect life sciences people to be partly repelled by the pusilanimous unwillingness of some politicians to defend science against creationist fruit-loops.

  9. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    So, what it all boils down to is...

    ...the sheeple read the headlines and maybe the first paragraph then "switch off", taking their views from the sensationalist part of the story designed to suck in you in and never get to very end of the story where the "small print" explains what they really meant to say, ie give some "balance" to the story so they can justify the racist/homophobic/sexist/whatever slant the publisher wanted to give when they come up in front of Leveson.

    Please note. The above sentence was carefully crafted so as to not upset any sheeple who might stumble across it. The built-inattention span limiter should have them clicking onto facebook before they get to the end.

  10. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Well there's a surprise...

    Who knew?

  11. Spanners Silver badge
    Big Brother

    @Matt Bryant

    For people who find it surprising that supposed "left wingers" were racists and/or homophobes.

    The society created by Stalin was not socialism. They talked about it a lot but it was very far from it. There were lots of workers who had few rights and there were a load of secret police and there was the chosen who commanded it all ruled by their beloved leader. That sounds pretty right wing to me.

    Marx was the product of his times and although he had plenty of left wing in him, he was a pretty standard european of his day with all the social attitudes that this landed him with.

    Anyway, who says that conservatives are all right wing anyway? The word just implies someone who is against change. If someone's society was full blown socialism with fair distribution of resources and with education, welfare etc freely available, then the people who wanted to keep it that way would be both conservative and left wing

    1. David Dawson

      If I May

      Not right wing.

      Totalitarian.

      Right/ left wing in this comparison is generally used in the economic sense. Stalin was an extreme left winger, being a communist. Forced collectivisation was the unfortunate outcome of his beliefs.

      Do Stalin's social policies agree with others you might care to call left wing? Probably not, but that's really a different issue.

      1. Turtle

        @ Spanners & David Dawson

        Spanners: "The society created by Stalin was not socialism."

        David Dawson: "Do Stalin's social policies agree with others you might care to call left wing? Probably not, but that's really a different issue."

        Not only was there was almost no left-wing criticism of either Stalin until Khrushchev speech, the lack of criticism of Bolshevism/Communism began with the so-called October Revolution and the overthrow of the Provisional Government, the loss of all civil liberties, the war against the peasants (Tambov Rebellion etc), the outlawing of the opposition, collectivization, the man-made famine in the Ukraine, the show trials, the 2 pacts with Hitler and subsequent destruction of Poland, the deportation of complete ethnic groups to remote areas involving extremely high death-rates, the war with Finland.... All of these things, and many many more, were either rationalized and explained away, or their existence was completely denied - for the sake of supporting socialism in the Soviet Union.

        It's easy to say that it "wasn't socialism" now that Stalin is dead (although Stalinism lives), and the Soviet Union has disintegrated. Nevertheless, the Soviet Union in all periods of its existence was accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists. Jay Lovestone was an almost unique phenomenon, and even the Trotskyists could not really go any farther than saying that Stalinism was a "distorted" form of socialism. (I.e. if given power, they could fix it, although a familiarity with Trotsky's writings will show that he was as bloodthirsty and intolerant as Stalin.)

        1. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

          @ Turtle

          > It's easy to say that it "wasn't socialism" now that Stalin is dead

          What the fuck? Thousands of people -communists, socialists whatever- gave their life to make that very point while Stalin was alive. Please crawl back under your bridge.

        2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          PS; @ Turtle

          > and even the Trotskyists could not really go any farther than saying that Stalinism was a "distorted" form of socialism. (I.e. if given power, they could fix it, although a familiarity with Trotsky's writings will show that he was as bloodthirsty and intolerant as Stalin.)

          Just so that you know, trotkyists were always Stalin's worst enemies. Trotsky's son was assassinated in Paris by a fake surgeon by Stalin's order. You are full of shit, to the rim.

          1. Tom 13

            Now there's a standard Ministry of Truth attitude:

            because the new political doctrine says the Trotkysists were Stalin's worst enemies, they must always have been his worst enemies. History says otherwise. History says they worked together so long as they were both out of power, supported each other, and only fell on one another AFTER their combined forces rose to power, with Stalin winning because of the two communist evils, he was the worse.

          2. This post has been deleted by its author

          3. Turtle

            @ElReg!comments!Pierre

            "Just so that you know, trotkyists were always Stalin's worst enemies. Trotsky's son was assassinated in Paris by a fake surgeon by Stalin's order. You are full of shit, to the rim."

            What you need to do, is to learn to read. Or perhaps I need to simplify my syntax so it fits more readily within the grasp the ignorant and uneducated. Can you get someone to translate my posts into a simpler and more basic form of English?

            ***************************

            In spite of how much Stalin hated Trotsky, and in spite of how much contempt Trotsky had for Stalin, Trotsky *never* came out and condemned the Soviet Union, because for most of his life abroad he was deluded enough to think that he wielded some sort of influence in the Soviet Union, and would eventually be able to return and take power.

            (Just so you know, and just so we're clear, then "Stalinism" is a form of totalitarian that is NOT dependent on Stalin himself being the supreme ruler. There have been other regimes described as Stalinist in other countries, with other supreme leaders. )

            But then, if you think that Trotsky's opinion of the Soviet Union was identical with his opinion of Stalin, or that, despising Stalin he was therefore compelled to hate the Soviet Union, or that he had to be against Stalinism (i.e. political oppression, regimentation of all phases and areas of life and the permeation of society by informers etc etc etc - whether or not Stalin himself was the "emperor"), because he despised Stalin, then your ability to understand Trotsky is just like your ability to understand written English.

            But please, do ask someone to translate this into a form that you can understand.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Turtle

          "accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists." That didn't make them correct. A million flies etc.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Turtle

          "the Soviet Union in all periods of its existence was accepted as a legitimate and acceptable form of socialism/communism by the vast majority of leftists"

          What is 'legitimate' supposed to mean here? That the Soviet communist party was in power was undeniable. Very few people were ever Communists in the UK and most 'leftists' (including George Orwell) consistently opposed Soviet communism.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Turtle

            @Anonymous Coward Saturday 4th February 2012 11:07 GMT

            "What is 'legitimate' supposed to mean here? That the Soviet communist party was in power was undeniable. Very few people were ever Communists in the UK and most 'leftists' (including George Orwell) consistently opposed Soviet communism."

            It means just what I said: all unflattering features were either explained away or denied because of an underlying assumption which was always, if I can paraphrase, that, if the right person took control, a paradise would be built and heaven would ensue. Or, to put it another way, the assumption was that the same power that could send many tens of millions to their deaths in the gulag and in the cellars of the NKVD and cause additional millions of deaths by famine, could also, if wisely used by a wise leader, bring about universal human happiness.

            Also, to posit George Orwell as some sort of typical leftist is a gross distortion of reality. Trash like Harold Laski or Hewlett Johnson the Red Dean of Canterbury would be more representative of the left; Orwell was never like that.

      2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

        @David Dawson

        As much as I might agree with other points you make, there's this:

        > Stalin was an extreme left winger, being a communist.

        Stalin was not a communist, not more that Hitler was a socialist. Stalin hijacked power for himself, under the guise of whatever was fancy at the time where he was. Stalin was actually pretty clearly fascist. He spent most of his time exterminating the real communists. Same as how Hitler gained traction under the guise of socialism ( NaZi= National Socialism) to actually push the exact opposite ideology.

        TL, DR for the conservatives: Stalin was not a communist. Quite the opposite, in fact.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Pirate

          RE: @David Dawson

          "....Stalin was not a communist...." Erm, yes he was! In fact, he's the perfect example of Communism - the taking away of power from the people and concentrating it in the hands of one group becuase they will - supposedly - do a better job than either an elected government or traditional monarchies. The core of communism is that a central group will make unbiased decisiosn for the betterment of all, removing inequality. Lefties like to say people like Stalin and Pol Pot weren't "left" or weren't "communists", simply because they're now seen as bad, but the reality is they expose the fundamental flaw of Communism - an unquestioning trust in people doing good for others when people are actually just people, given to greed and other nastiness.

          Democracy is flawed, but it works because it takes into consideration the idea that people are not perfect and will not necessarily do what they promise. In fact, you could say that democracy works because it was designed to remove the incompetent from power if they got there. If the poeple don't like the government they elected, they can vote them out. With communism, once the bad apples get to the top you are screwed, there is no means to remove them. And all Communist governments seem to have promoted bad apples to positions where they could play the system to take advantage of the people. Simply claiming the bad apples "weren't lefties/communists" is simply reiterating the misplaced trust that allows communism to fail so glaringly.

          1. Mike VandeVelde
            Headmaster

            apples and oranges

            Communism compares to capitalism. Democracy compares to dictatorship. Communism does not compare to democracy. You can have communist democracies and you can have capitalist disctatorships.

            Communism does not mean a group of leaders deciding what everyone does. Even in Stalin's harsh version, the party was just a temporary situation meant to lead one day to true full blown communism, or at least he paid lip service to the theory.

            Communist countries do elect representatives in a democratic fashion, it's just that they must all be from the communist party. Meanwhile in the USA, instead of 1 you get 2 parties to choose from, how much better is that? ;-) You have the Republican and the Democratic wings of the corporatist party eating each other's tails, could you imagine nationalizing and then privatising everything every 4 years??

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              RE: apples and oranges

              "......You can have communist democracies...." Please name one. Go on, just for fun. At best, you could point to minority Communist parties in some European countries like Italy, but the truth is they only conform to the democratic model because they have to, they have such little support. In fact, even the Italians have ditched their Communist party (the PCI) and started relabelling themselves "socialists".

              "....Communist countries do elect representatives in a democratic fashion, it's just that they must all be from the communist party...." Yes, it's called a "one-party" system, the complete opposite of democracy.

              ".....Meanwhile in the USA, instead of 1 you get 2 parties to choose from, how much better is that?...." Maths is obviously not your strong point, 2 > 1. And if you don't like either you can not vote or support an independent. WIth Communism you have no choice, indeed not agreeing with "the state" is usually going to mean prison time (if you're lucky).

              "....could you imagine nationalizing and then privatising everything every 4 years??" It's nice at least having the choice. If you didn't notice, the Berlin Wall fell because the people in the Communist countries got tired of not having choices. In fact, Communism has a pretty poor record of success anywhere, even ignoring the tyranical dictators it seems to produce.

              1. Mike VandeVelde
                Meh

                still with the capitalism === democracy

                "Please name one." Maybe I could if the leader of the free world hadn't been so bloodthirstily burning down villages around the world in order to save them.

                "Yes, it's called a "one-party" system, the complete opposite of democracy." It's different than pluralistic democracy, but it is not the opposite of democracy. In the opposite of democracy the king appoints governors and doesn't even bother pretending to let common people vote.

                "WIth Communism you have no choice, indeed not agreeing with "the state" is usually going to mean prison time (if you're lucky)." The USA has more people in prison than any other country. Explain how the House Un-American Activities Committee fits into your worldview of communism = dictatorship and capitalism = freedom to vote for who you choose.

                "If you didn't notice, the Berlin Wall fell because the people in the Communist countries got tired of not having choices." It might have also had something to do with the USSR bankrupting itself trying to maintain some semblance of competitiveness with the totally insane level of mililtary spending in the USA. Do you think history will be as kind in describing the fall of the USA-Mexico wall, where the misery and death is an order of magnitude higher?

                I won't mention my opinion of your strong points, or lack of them.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  RE: still with the capitalism === democracy, part 1

                  "......Maybe I could if the leader of the free world hadn't been so bloodthirstily burning down villages...." No, you couldn't and the rest is just the usual evasions. Consider Viet Nam, supposedly a successful Communist people's government overthrowing a tyranical, US-supported regime. Fast forward twenty years (around 1996, IIRC) and they had already started shifting to a capitalist model, eventually joining the WTO in 2007, whilst denying their people the full democratic process. That's even more ironic given that the Communists' excuse for starting their long war against South Viet Nam was that national elections had not been held in 1956.

                2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  RE: still with the capitalism === democracy - part 2

                  "....It's different than pluralistic democracy, but it is not the opposite of democracy...." No, it is completely different and opposite. One-party rule is not democracy in any form, and only the deluded would pretend otherwise.

                  "....The USA has more people in prison than any other country...." More evasion, that has nothing to do with the point in hand, it just exposes your knee-jerk and spoonfed anti-Yank ideals.

                  "....Explain how the House Un-American Activities Committee...." You mean the long-abolished committee? Reagrdless of how that is an even bigger evasion piece, did you ever stop to understand that Communism in the States was exactly the same as that elsewhere in the period - anti-democratic and determined to impose one-party rule. By the definitions of the US Constitution, the Communist ideal was "un-American" as it was anti-religion (therefore against the right to freedom of religion as in the First Amendment) and anti-democratic (not giving the right to vote to anyone but Communist Party members, a standard Communist ploy, is directly opposed to the right to vote in the Consitution).

                  ".....It might have also had something to do with the USSR bankrupting itself ...." EXACTLY! Communism failed BECAUSE it couldn't compete, it was a failure on a massive scale. Yet you then try defending it? Please, go ask an adult if you can borrow a clue.

                  ".....I won't mention my opinion of your strong points...." I'm guessing that's because you've run out spoonfed trash to repeat. Epic fail, both scholastic and in any form of real-World experience.

    2. Arctic fox

      @Spanners RE:"Anyway, who says that conservatives are all right wing anyway?"

      Indeed. Social conservatives and their mirror image social libertarians are found on both the left and the right in various guises.

  12. Turtle

    Words, words, words.

    If this study judged racism based on written or verbal responses to questions, then its value is roughly zero. It has *nothing* to do with how a person fills out a questionnaire - it is a question of actual behavior. I have known any number of left- and far-left leaning individuals who have been profoundly racist, ethnocentric, anti-semitic, homophobic, etc etc yet considered themselves completely free of biases, bigotries, prejudices, and any form of chauvinism. They knew how to answer questions in a "non-discriminatory" manner - and not only are they capable of hiding their narrow-mindedness from themselves, they would have no trouble hiding it when filling out a questionnaire. Oftentimes it is barely hidden. I once had a person tell me how much he hates racism... and in the next breath he tells me he doesn't like a particular, relatively small Asian ethnicity. Ditto two very left-leaning sisters who, it turned out, both had an assortment of groups of people (gays, a variety of ethnic groups) that they disliked. This stuff would *never* have come out on a questionnaire, but it was there, scarcely hidden. Well, why belabor the subject, really? Anyone who doesn't know people like that, doesn't know people.

    Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach? How does someone like that get tenure the first place? Could he have gotten tenure because the people who granted him tenure knew that he could be relied on to conduct studies that would reach the necessary conclusions? Would anyone be surprised if that were so?

    1. Naughtyhorse

      to sumarise...

      left wing bigots are smarter than right wing ones.

      bigotries cancel out, leaving smart lefties and stupid righties.

      i can live with that.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Or, as I prefer Naughtyhorse ...

        Wingnuts are wingnuts, left, right, and any other axis you can imagine.

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

      @ Turtle

      Irrelevance is an art you quite evidently master. Congratulations.

      (IF you really have to ask, THEN you're part of the statistics)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Turtle again

      Mostly I do agree with you. But "Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach?", though a valid point, is also reminiscent of the typically Conservative (up to and including the Blair years) habit of trying to muzzle BBC news as biased, when every time all it has been doing is reporting various infamous policy decisions etc. People who take a politically neutral stance look 'Left' to Right-wing reactionaries, when all they are are normal people. BBC News is or was Left-leaning the same way Clarkson said strkers/protesters should be killed. The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older. Possibly that is because our intellect degrades with age. Whatever, these are not just valid areas of investigation, they are essential when you look at the truly horric history of the human race, after which it looks very unwise to take the position that we (in the developed world anyway) have outgrown it. You can't not ask certain questions for fear of offending people of a particular ideological bent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Ken Snorker

        Like somebody said earlier "Facts have a liberal bias". Attacking the messenger (eg: the BBC) is just a substitute for being able to wish away the facts.

      2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        @Ken Snorker

        "The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older."

        I don't know whether this is true, but it's easily explained. As left wingers get older their income and wealth tends to grow. They start to realise how personal wealth is created and and suddenly, distributing their own, hard-earned money to others doesn't look like such a great idea anymore.

        When you compare the political attitude of young people in countries with a dual educational system, you will find that those being on the track of vocational training tend to be more right wing while those in academics tend to be more the the left. It is not wrong to say that the more intelligent people are more likely to attend university while the others are rather starting an apprenticeship. This does also support the study in the article.

        But you can think of it in different terms. When you don't have a noteworthy income into your late twenties, basically living on your parents money or scholarships and benefiting from a mostly state sponsered academic education, it is rather easy to speak in favour of socialist ideas like redistribution of income and wealth. On the other hand, when you start to earn your own money with the age of about 16 you will probably be a bit more sceptical about trends to take your money away and pass it on to someone else.

        1. Tom 7 Silver badge

          @evil auditor

          No - I work in software so most of the money in my business comes from the government taking money of people and giving it to me so I get more left wing as I get richer - I LOVE tax.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Evil Auditor

          This is why I speciry _true_ left wingers. That really is the only answer necessary. You could have it that all people are self-serving and that the difference is that so-called left wingers either don't consider the long-term consequences of their position, or are just posing, whereas right-wingers are simply matter-of-fact about it from day one. But there are far too many examples throughout history of those who put the welfare of others before their own.

          Personally I have never beiieved in redistribution of wealth (although confiscation of stolen assets is another matter) because I believe in free enterprise, because it is the hopes and aspirations of free and creative people that drive social evolution. What is required is sufficient, universal education, that the majority of people grow into well-rounded individuals, not ones who, say, have truck with multi-million pound bonuses - whether earned or not. There are a very great many people who would not allow multitudes to go hungry while they themselves hoard personal fortunes in the multi-millions. There are people who die for others.

          What left and right wing really mean, as opposed to what it is reduced to in the ideological talking shops, is much the same as what probably most of us here know in our hearts to be Justice as opposed to what it says in the Law books. The same way Human Rights are not something that can be granted or taken away.

          True left wingers put the needs of others before their own. It comes down to not what you say, but what you do; not why you do it, but the sum effect on the world of your own brief time in it.

          1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

            @Ken Snorker

            I think you are mixing up two different things, the left-right and altruism-egoism axes.

            First, what is a true left winger (or righty, for that matter)? On the left-right axis you could consider the extreme left as 100% taxation and the extreme right as 0 taxation. Luckily, none of these extremes exist in the civilised world. This is in line with your definition of the true left winger who puts the need of others before his own. In other words all income (and wealth) belongs to the state and the individuals benefit from what the state thinks they need.

            This has, however, nothing to do with rich people willing to use their wealth to help the poor. If they had been true lefties in a lefty world they would have never ever had the opportunity to become rich and able to feed the hungry - this is altruism (now, we could also argue whether true altruism exists...) and independent of a left or right attitude, think of it as a different dimension.

            I've yet to meet a "true lefty" who contributes to the general public, i.e. who pays taxes and is not just a muddlehead living on benefits. Likewise, I haven't seen a mentally healty person who believes the only sensible tax rate to be 0%.

      3. Turtle

        @Ken Snorker 24-7

        "Mostly I do agree with you. But 'Would it be too difficult to think that the professor who conducted this study most likely thought it up in order to reach exactly the conclusions which he did reach?', though a valid point, is also reminiscent of the typically Conservative".

        First, it's not a "point". It is a question. And it's a good question. A question as good, in fact, as the survey itself seems to be bad. And the worse the survey is, the more it is worthwhile to ask why.

        Secondly, if you want to equate "valid point" and "typically Conservative" you can do so.

        "The vast majority of true left wingers - if that's what we ever were - get more right wing as we get older. Possibly that is because our intellect degrades with age."

        Out of curiosity, would I be correct in assuming that it is you who decides who is a "true" left-winger and who is just a poser? if so, I wonder how you ended up with this grave responsibility.

        As for "intellect degrading with age" this is just a stupid and discriminatory statement. (Leaving aside pathological and physically-caused examples, such as Alzheimer's in an 80 year old man.)

    4. Mycho Silver badge

      That does make sense actually.

      "Smart people do not admit to being racists" seems a pretty fair conclusion to draw from this.

    5. Dave Bell

      You are correct that the design of a survey can influence the result. A part of an answer to that is to ask the same question in different ways. A check on the possibility of bias is to publish, as part of a research paper, the questions which were asked.

      In light of that, your assertion goes beyond doubt into denial. Your assumption that the researchers are biased liars is no better than an unquestioning belief that this report accurately presents the results.

      The Social Sciences, done right, can employ powerful mathematical tools. The surveys can be repeated, so as to test the original results. Give a social scientist a thousand orphans, a hedge maze and enough cheese...

      We distrust them, and yet so many of us are suckers for politicians.

      1. Mycho Silver badge

        And by rewording the questions they make this a trap the intelligent are less likely to fall into. A classic problem with tests such as these which attempt to chart anything against intelligence is that the intelligent are more resistant to the tricks used to balance them.

  13. phr0g
    Linux

    It's all the fault of the Mail and the Sun

    Only stupid people read those rags.

    And only stupid people down-vote someone for a tongue in cheek finger point at stupid people. Confused?... I am...but then I am stupid,

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Surprise surprise ...

    Dimwits are easily led. The easily led are more likely to be exploited by less-than-ideal political ideologies. Whoda thunk?

    In my day we called this common sense. Oh, and, we have enough history to show this true. To live in ignorance of the past is to remain a child forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, good point.

      Just look at bible belt America and their stinking-rich TV Evangelists. And I never heard of a left wing Creationist.

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Left Wing Creationists?

        Most church goers in Europe would seem left wing to people from the USA. Some of them are creationists

    2. Local Group

      @Craiggy

      "To live in ignorance of the past is to remain a child forever."

      Where do we sign up for that? :-)

  15. schotness

    How stupid do you have to have been ?

    How stupid do you have to have been to be a Lib Dem coalition supporter now?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Remind us again...

      ...of the days of the Lib Dem coalition. I seem to have missed that part of history.

  16. Tom Maddox Silver badge
    Joke

    I, for one . . .

    . . . expect a series of well-considered and reasonable responses to this article.

  17. ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge
    Mushroom

    BIASED!

    AGAIN an ANTI-AMERICAN VALUES study that SEEKS TO DESTROY AMERICA publishe by people who HATE FREEDOM. Again, it comes from COMMUNIST researchers with DEGREES. These guys are not like me and you, they are COMMIES and want to DESTROY THE WORLD. Proof is, they have DEGREES!

    Oh wait...

    1. Anonymous Cowerd
      Coffee/keyboard

      ha ha ha!

      ha ha ha!

  18. Wombling_Free
    Trollface

    In other news...

    Pope found to be 'practicing Catholic'

    also

    evidence of Ursine defecation found in forest

    and all the latest from NASA scientists - conclusive proof the earths oceans are wet.

    Pictures at eleven, only on FOX

  19. Thought About IT
    Coat

    Missed connection

    Right-wing conservative ideology == AGW denial.

    Just sayin' ...

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      FAIL

      RE: Missed connection

      ".....AGW denial...." I think there are (at last count) 260 continental Europeans so far this Winter, that would just love to argue that whole global warming malarkey, only they froze to death first in some of the coldest weather for over twenty-five years.

    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      RE: Missed connection

      Isn't it time you neohippies gave up on the AGW hype? Hasn't Gore made enough money out of your guillibility yet? Many (real) scientists seem to think so:

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

      1. Local Group
        Devil

        Oh, Matt!

        You know very well that all the fussing about Global Warming is just to take the sheeples' minds off of Peak Oil. Silly.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: Oh, Matt

          ".....Global Warming is just to take the sheeples' minds off of Peak Oil....." Sorry, but that's just a prime example of the treehugger nondebating tactics - when you're losing on one subject and it's clear people are beginning to see through your faux science, switch to another hot topic and start again. Rinse, repeat, and never have to admit you're wrong. I'm guessing your next jump would be to nuke power vs "renewables". Usual fail.

          1. Local Group
            Thumb Down

            Au contraire mon ami

            While there is absolutely no evidence that our planet is NOT in the beginning stages of "Peak oil", there is sufficient circumstantial evidence in the last 10 - 15 years that the early stages have begun and are being reacted to and counteracted by the leading governments of our civilization.

            You must know that the most counterproductive steps governments could take in overcoming Peak oil, would be LETTING THE POPULATION KNOW THAT PEAK OIL IS HERE. Duh!

            At the least, it would produce a panic that disrupts the global economy. At the most armed insurrection, rioting and a touch of Mad Max.

            What the world governments have in their favor, Matt, is a universal denial in their populations such as yours. :-)

            1. Local Group
              Happy

              Matt, I was wrong to mention Peak oil.

              Peak oil is not a topic that people want to hear about.

              On the other hand, now I no longer think of you as a know-it-all. Clearly, you know absolutely nothing about PO. :-)

              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                FAIL

                RE: Matt, I was wrong to mention Peak oil.

                ".....Clearly, you know absolutely nothing about PO....." <Yawn> Every post you make simply displays your inability to do anything other than spout mindless soundbites, switching topic at random in a desperate attempt to avoid being caught out for the intellectual fraud you are. I'm beginning to think you and original thought are complete strangers. Once again, care to return to the forum topic or is it safe to assume you've run out of spoonfed soundbites for that discussion?

            2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              RE: Au contraire mon ami

              Like I said, hopping to a new topic when the last one becomes too hot to handle.

              But, if you want to discuss peak oil, then you need to understand that the so-called top-of-the-curve (where peak production supposedly exceeds demand) has been predicted to have occurred in 1970, 1986 and again in 2010. The treehuggers have now started pushing it back to 2020. What stopped it actually happening was several simple factors; greater efficiency in oil extraction; greater fuel efficiency in many uses; changes in the political landscape altering supply; and opening up of new oil fields. Once again, you have simply and unquestioningly accepted a trendy mantra as scientific fact without ever thinking to question the science behind it.

              Now, do you want to get back to AGW, or do you actually want to get back on topic of the forum? Maybe you want to claiming Trotsky wasn't a "leftie"?

              1. Local Group
                Happy

                Peak Matt Bryant

                Everyone agrees M. King Hubbert was right about Peak Oil in America:

                "M. King Hubbert created and first used the models behind peak oil in 1956 to accurately predict that United States oil production would peak between 1965 and 1970.[1]" (Wikipedia)

                As far as Global Peak is concerned:

                "Optimistic estimations of peak production forecast the global decline will begin after 2020, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.[3] Pessimistic predictions of future oil production operate on the thesis that either the peak has already occurred,[4][5][6][7] that oil production is on the cusp of the peak, or that it will occur shortly.[8][9] Production of conventional crude oil peaked in 2004 at 74 million barrels per day, and greater records reached since then represent only small increases that are failing to keep pace with demand from growing countries, such as China and India.'(Wikipedia)

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil ^^

                I guess you're in the Pollyanna camp. That must be why you're so charming. :-)

                ps 2020 is not too far off.

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Happy

                  RE: Peak Matt Bryant

                  I see returning to the forum subject was too much of a challenge for you. Honest, this is my surprised face.

                  "Everyone agrees...." Straight away, you just derailed your own arguments by opening with an unproven assumption. It is impossible to claim that everyone agrees with something as you simply could not have gone and asked every person in the World to supply an opinion. To claim "everyone agrees" sounds intellectually naive and makes any following statement dubious.

                  ".....M. King Hubbert ..... predict....." And here we get to the second hole in your arguments. The whole Peak Oil theorem was nothing more than a prediction, based on the best scientific data avilable at the time. You need to ensure that your arguments reflect the current scientific information, otherwise you're going to look like you're pushing an outdated POV.

                  "....Pollyanna camp...." Interesting, I would definately not class myself as an unbounded optimist. On the other hand, you seem to have a desire to belong to a "camp", and to put everyone into similar "camps", where everyone has uniform and predictable ideas. It seems that desire to conform has dulled your ability to independent thought. Your desire to conform doesn't sound very radical or progressive.

                  So, so far you have dipslayed naivete, assumptions, outdated predictions and unquestioning conformity. You sure you want to go another round, whether it's on-topic or not?

                  1. Local Group
                    Happy

                    (I don't think it's over either. He has to have the last word.)

                    Me: last word.

                    Matt: 3 posts/52 lines of words.

                    1) "unproven assumption". Isn't 'unproven assumption' redundant? Isn't a proven assumption an oxymoron?

                    2) "Everyone agrees". I was referring to the much less than 1% of the world's population who have even heard of Hubbert and Peak oil not the dull normal hoi polloi you hope will vote for Newt Gingrich.

                    3) " The whole Peak Oil theorem was nothing more than a prediction, based on the best scientific data avilable at the time." "Matt labors and brings forth a mouse".

                    4) "Pollyanna camp". Please don't get mad, but I also had Susan Sontag's notes in mind.

                    I have to get some electric shock therapy now. I'll be back for your other two posts. Don't go 'way. :o)

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Happy

                      RE: (I don't think it's over either. He has to have the last word.)

                      "....1) "unproven assumption". Isn't 'unproven assumption' redundant? Isn't a proven assumption an oxymoron?..." No, if you make an assumption and it later turns out to be correct (i.e., a fact), that is a proven assumption. All yours are simply non-factual and - looking at the science - never likely to become facts.

                      "....2) "Everyone agrees". I was referring to the much less than 1% of the world's population..." Oh, so not everyone, then. Everyone, by definition, means 100%. And again, have you polled the whole World's population to check if they understand the Peak Oil concept? :)

                      "....3..... "Matt labors and brings forth a mouse"...." Which you can't argue with, I notice. Defeated by a mouse - you're not doing very well, here, LG, maybe you should get an adult to help you?

                      "....4) "Pollyanna camp". Please don't get mad..." Wrong again, it was more a case of ROFLMAO at you!

                      "....I have to get some electric shock therapy now...." Hope you're better and more able to defend your ideals soon.

                  2. Local Group
                    FAIL

                    RE RE: Peak Matt Bryant

                    "you have dipslayed naivete, assumptions, outdated predictions..."

                    ".....M. King Hubbert ..... predict....." And here we get to the second hole in your arguments. The whole Peak Oil theorem was nothing more than a prediction, based on the best scientific data avilable at the time. You need to ensure that your arguments reflect the current scientific information, otherwise you're going to look like you're pushing an outdated POV."

                    Behold the Bryant Theory of Uncertainity. When MB is uncertain about anything (which in his case is practically everything) he pretends he's answered the question and punts. Just look at his quote in the second paragraph. "Peak Oil theorem...a prediction...best scientific data available at the time."

                    And then:

                    "You need to ensure that your arguments reflect the current scientific information, otherwise you're going to look like you're pushing an outdated POV."

                    Dude, you don't even pretend that you know what the "current scientific information" is, no less cite it in arguing that I'm wrong. I suppose that is your charm. You probably have millions of friends. And not just because you buy almost every round at the pub.

                    The world is already at Peak oil, Matt, so there's no answer to what better theory succeeded Hubbert's. It's moot. Let's just move on. I'll let you win most of the time. :o)

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: RE RE: Peak Matt Bryant

                      "....Behold the Bryant Theory of Uncertainity....." <Sigh> What I'm trying to suggest to you is that, if you hold a cause dear, you should continually question both the premise it is founded on and those that promote it. Anything else is simply blind faith. Far too many of the AGW crowd stopped looking at the science at the first offering (the Micheal Mann "hockeystick" graph), and haven't bothered to look at either the criticisms of Mann and co or the IPCC, or the other science in the field. If you do not, in future days people will point to you and say; "Yeah, LG used to believe in AGW, just like people used to believe in a flat Earth, how naive!"

                      "....The world is already at Peak oil...." <Yawn> As I explained before, the World has been at "Peak Oil" already three times, and each time the developments in fuel efficiency, oil extraction, and new oilfields have helped push the effect back. A nice segue from the original point of the article, and I'm sure you'd love to stay on the subject as the science of Peak Oil prediction is nicely inprecise, but it's not going to win you any Brownie points. Most of the forum readers will simply shrug and say; "What is LG on about, that's got nothing to do with it?"

                      1. Local Group
                        Boffin

                        Re: Re: RE RE: Peak Matt Bryant

                        "The World has been at "Peak Oil" already three times." How many times did the boy cry wolf before the wolf showed up? But I don't even buy your claim . Please post those three times? :-)

                        So we're not at Peak Oil, but a respected allied nation wants the Malvinas returned, which England would do in a New York minute, except for the off shore oil there. We are told that the lives of 3500 Falklanders trump the nation of Argentia. And MB doesn't see this rapacious behavior as anything but the Right of his country to take and give possessions anywhere in the world.

                        The first Falkland conflict occured 10 years after Hubbert's accurate forcast about Peak Oil in America. 10 years after Hubbert's accurate prediction, did Argentina move to get its islands and oil back? Where were you from '73 till the war in '82, Matt? Did anyone in any government or military tell you whether or not they were concerned about PO? Or are you posting here way after the fact? When PO oil does arrive, will that news will be flogged in the media 24/7 panicking the piss out of everybody?

                        Yes, governments have to lie to their people, but that doesn't mean I'm going to hawk the government line.Maybe I should. Maybe you can convince me to.

                        There is absolutely no evidence of the absence of PO. However, there is some circumstantial evidence of PO's advent.

                        I'll can tell you why I believe PO's here. You'll probably think it's funny. Even change my password. :-)

  20. Ossi

    Social scentists confirm their own prejudices

    This shows all that's wrong with the social sciences - research which is interpreted to confirm the prejudices of the researchers (or maybe journalists - hard to tell here). It's sometimes startling to see this at work. Back in Victorian times and before the war, for example, women were believed to be the more empathetic and caring gender. This was used to claim should stay at home and be housewives. Now exactly the same argument is used to show the superiority of women in some jobs. See what they did there?

    I bet that I could come up with a bunch of questions that would show that stupid people are socialist. In the UK, for example, I could ask questions about entitlements to benefits, and how much rich people should be taxed. I plead with people to read such reports critically, even if they rather like the results.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "all that's wrong with the social sciences"

      What. they don't confirm your prejudices?

  21. stsr505089

    The NCD Study

    Looks like some of my input into this. Children born in 1958 and 1970 is the National Child Development Study. The 1958 lot which was the bigger of the 2 was every child born in the UK between the 1st and 8th March 1958. I get a birthday card from them every year, and every few years when they get some funding from some group or other, they send interviewers & testers round. Gets smaller each time as inevitably they lose a few with moves and others falling off the perch.....

  22. David 45

    Obvious

    Pretty obvious I would have thought without costly research! Take a car or bus load of school kids, for a start and check. Could have told them that!

  23. fearnothing

    Isn't this a pretty obvious conclusion? The very definition of prejudice is making a judgement without rational justification. Therefore, people who are less skilled at reason and logic (i.e. those of below-average IQ) will be more prone to prejudiced views because their mental capacity makes it more difficult for them to recognise an opinion that isn't well-founded.

    NEWSFLASH: Scientists prove that a word means what the dictionary says it means.

  24. Sean Timarco Baggaley
    FAIL

    I'm not sure I entirely agree with the interpretation of the results.

    Ignorance isn't related to intelligence: if you lacked the opportunities to remedy your ignorance of a subject, you'd be ignorant on it. Just as many people today are ignorant of how their phone or computer actually works, yet are more than happy to use them, so there are people who have either been misinformed or simply never had the opportunity to discover the truth about many other topics.

    "Intelligence" is a woolly, vague, hand-wavy term for a concept that has yet to be satisfactorily defined. IQ tests—which were popular back in the 1950s and 1970s—are no longer considered accurate measurements of someone's intellectual skills. A mechanical genius might also be a mathematical imbecile.

    Kids of "below average" intelligence often get left behind in schools, which have always tended to assume that a "one size fits all" system will work for everyone equally well. We now know this isn't true and that different people prefer learning in different ways.

    Bigotry is, in my experience at least, generally born of ignorance, not stupidity. It is only those who deliberately choose to remain ignorant —avoiding any possibility of changing their very thought processes—who represent the ultimate form of conservatism.

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Pirate

      RE: I'm not sure I entirely agree with the interpretation of the results

      You were doing well up until the end, when you slipped in your own little bit of bigotry: ".....avoiding any possibility of changing their very thought processes—who represent the ultimate form of conservatism." It is a simple fact that the most conservative are those with the most to lose, i.e., the wealthy, and it is also that same group of people that are usually the better educated (they can afford to send their kids to unis). People don't get to be wealthy by chance, it's usually because they were the smarter people that worked harder, possibly thought outside the box to see advantages others couldn't. In essence, they are more likely to be intelligent and more likely to be capable of thinking and learning. I could point out that those that posted here their refusal to accept that Stalin was a Communist are a better example of people choosing to remain ignorant rather than truly examining the ideals and systems they hold so dear.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Did anybody deny that Stalin was a communist?

        [citation needed]

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Actually, I see now somebody did!

          There are some very funny people about (and, apparently, not just you, Mr Bryant!)

  25. Velv Silver badge
    Mushroom

    The next logical study point should probably investigate the belief in the existence of God and their other social slants. Given the spread of students is (allegedly) receiving the same schooling, they must be learning their attitudes somewhere, and I'd suggest it's more than just in the home

  26. JDX Gold badge

    Questions such as "Family life suffers if mum is working full-time"

    How does this question relate to political views or homophobia/racism?

    Are they simply equating "old fashioned" with "bigoted" because last I heard, the working Vs stay-at-home mum argument was still unsettled.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I wouldn't discriminate here

      There are some good dads about. I'd say "family life suffers if both parents in a two-parent family are working full time".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        family life

        I agree with "family life suffers if both parents are working full time".

        If facing a question like the one quoted ("family suffers if mum working full time?"), I would look at my own situation and realize that I would most likely have to continue working full time in case we have kids (since I will most likely be the one with the biggest salary). That does not mean I would not be perfectly happy staying at home in case my missus finds a better paying job than the one I have, but until then...: I would have to answer "Yes" to the question posed.

        Does that make me a biggot? (I definitively feel confused though, because I did not realize there was a problem with mum staying at home if the daddy is the one with the bigger salary -- which is still the most common scenario for various reasons, often involving women themselves favorising men with good income)

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Coat

        RE: I wouldn't discriminate here

        There's the old joke that they say in Liverpool that family life suffers if either parent works!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conservatives tend to be retarded...

    the same way Muslims tend to be terrorists, and homosexuals tend to be child abusers. This is just as biased as the Daily Mail et al. The problem isn't conservatism, it's extremism.

  28. Chris Miller

    Hilarious

    A cunningly concealed piece of research into how much people enjoy having their prejudices confirmed. Imagine an identical piece with the words conservative and right-wing replaced by women/blacks/Jews/homosexuals ... The same people filling up comments with "nyah, nyah, told you so" would be frothing with outrage, moaning about intelligence being merely a construct of the patriarchal hegemony and demanding the resignation of those responsible for the research.

    For me, it merely confirms my prejudice against social 'scientists'. (No apologies for the condescending quote marks - if they were good enough for Ernest Rutherford, they're good enough for me.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you mean...

      ...'cunningly conceived'. It also appears to be cunningly conceived enough that you can't *actually* find any fault with its conclusions.

    2. Chris Miller

      Nope

      I meant concealed, in that the true intent of the research - into the effectiveness of prejudice confirmation - has been hidden behind the 'are all conservatives dim?' headline. Demonstrating once again that there's nothing more conformist than a bunch of radicals.

  29. TheTick

    Intelligence -1 - Wisdom +2!

    As any gamer knows well, Intelligence and Wisdom are two separate stats.

    I like my conservative paladins built like an ox with the brain of a pea, but the Wisdom to know right from wrong.

    That's how I roll! (the d20...)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Definition

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary - "Bigot (n) a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices." As, this defines most human beings on earth I hereby declare this conversation, to say nothing of this impressive 'academic' undertaking redundant. You may go about your business citizens.

    1. Vic

      > I like my conservative paladins

      I just don't like paladins.

      How can you play a character that can't get the hump and yell "fuck off" at someone?

      Vic.

    2. Galidron

      Paladins

      I always viewed paladins as the hard core Crusader type where every decision made has to be labeled as good or evil and if evil is chosen those who chose must be purged, there is no mercy. Thou has urinated upon a tree in the woods sacred to the Holy Mother, thou must perish!

  31. Zack Mollusc
    Thumb Up

    Well done to the researcher, a Mr N.S.Sherlock.

  32. Ted Treen
    Headmaster

    and here in the UK...

    ...the lefties in the Labour Party and in Auntie Beeb have long since taken to applying the epithet "progressive" to left-wing ideas.

    The subtle assumption/implication being that only left-wing ideas are an advancement, and I'm rather surprised to see how many Reg commenters appear to swallow this rather frightening form of manipulative Newspeak.

    1. Greg 16
      Trollface

      Surprised?

      You're new here aren't you.

      1. Ted Treen
        Headmaster

        No Greg...

        I've been around El Reg for ages - I AM the wrong side of 60, but I echo Chrchill:-

        If you're not a socialist at 16, there's something wrong with your heart;

        If you're STIULL a socialist at 25, there's something wrong with your head.

        Await avalanche of downvotes.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          I bypassed the socialist stage.

          I remember the 1970s strikes and power cuts.

          There were a lot of us around then.

          But then Heath was rubbish as well.

          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
            Happy

            RE: I bypassed the socialist stage.

            "....But then Heath was rubbish as well." Ah, but all of us (and definately the lefties) should thank Ed Heath as he took us into Europe (the EEC, the realistic trade side of the big Euro socialist deam) and also stopped Enoch Powell getting the Tory leadership. True, Maggie Thatcher was a lot more fun.

  33. henrydddd
    Happy

    yup

    I live in a conservative town dominated by conservative politicians. And I have always known that conservatives are nothing but a pack of morons. This is not news, it is just a statement of commonly known fact.

    1. Ted Treen
      FAIL

      ...and Socialists

      are " wunnerful people" - until they run out of other people's money.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Local vs government

      ALL local government people I think are useless - well they are around here, more bothered about their own silly little petty projects to worry about us. Party here means nothing, just get a few business men in to run it please!

      As to MPs, they can be variable - all comes down to the person, we have gone from a Blair yes man, (NEVER voted against the government) to a Conservative rebel (Already in trouble for listening to his constituents), LibDems never seen one locally, except in local councils.

      The new Labour bossiness is still there as our constituency has been nominated as an all female short list, so next election there will be a candidate who won her position SIMPLY due to being female, I hope she comes third - I want the BEST candidate, not a yes man or woman. I do not hate women MPs (the older ones who got there are merit - all parties are fine), I just think restricted lists are wrong.

  34. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "To be conservative requires no brains whatsoever."

    "Cabbages, cows and conifers are conservatives, and are so stupid they don’t even know it. All that is basically required is acceptance of what exists." - Colin Welch

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Devil

      "....Colin Welch." Would that be the same one that wrote for the Telegraph and the Daily Mail.....?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the 'Left - Right' spectrum...

    It's not a line; it's a circle.

    Extremists approaching the loony far side from either political direction are perfectly indistinguishable, and they're all about as clever as tree stumps. It takes a very form of self-delusional stupidity to be an extremist of either stripe.

    The reported study simply shows that there's presently a world-wide shortage of extreme 'lefties'. For example, even the Chinese communists have gone all Free Market on us. So the present-day extremist shouty idiots just happen to be mostly 'righties'. This asymmetry throws off the analysis.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Exactly

      And the looneys are always visible.

      Look politicians all we want is.

      1) DO NOT INTERFERE IN OUR LIVES *

      2) DO NOT TAX US TOO MUCH #

      3) MAKE SURE WE HAVE HEALTH CARE & EDUCATION ~

      Now balance that

      * ID Cards

      # Extreme lefties like this

      ~ The NHS is still good despite all the problems

  36. amozillo
    Holmes

    Heh

    The guy's from "Brock University"--nice touch

  37. Yamal Dodgy Data
    FAIL

    "dem raaawists is thickies init" says da mejah studies yoof from da ex-Polyteknik

    So with the Japanese and Koreans having the highest average IQ in the world ...

    they must be the least raaaawcist people on the planet ???

    ... oops .. hold on !

    1. jake Silver badge

      @Yamal Dodgy Data

      IQ means squat.

      EOF

      1. Yamal Dodgy Data
        Facepalm

        @jake

        I take it you scored under 100 in your standardized High School IQ test

        :-P

        1. jake Silver badge

          @Yamal Dodgy Data

          Um ... no. We didn't do that back in the early '70s in Palo Alto.

          On the other hand, I was part of the group that Merril used when "renorming" the Stanford-Binet 1960 data in 1973. When I took the "standard test" the way it was supposed to be taken, I was a trifle higher than the norm. When I took the tests the way *I* wanted to take them, I scored higher. Exact numbers are immaterial; you wouldn't believe me, regardless.

          Later in life, after I had my own child, I realized the gross stupidity of attempting to put a base-line under all of humanity. Human brains don't work that way. In the ensuing quarter century+, I have pretty much ignored the opinion of anyone who places value on so-called "IQ". Hasn't cost me anything yet, and probably never will.

          1. Local Group

            @Jake..."anyone who places value on so-called 'IQ'".

            Matt Bryant Posted Saturday 4th February 2012 11:48 GMT

            RE: "Poor reading comprehension I see"

            "Yes, I would class myself as a Conservative, thought there are many and different views amongst Conservatives, so the "one-size-fits-all" label you are obviously trying to apply is not going to work. For example, my IQ score is over 140, so you can skip any attempts to label me a knuckle-dragging Nazi."

            Jake: This doesn't mean you ignore the opinions of Matt Bryant, does it? OMG!

            1. jake Silver badge

              @Local Group

              ElReg's opinion not withstanding, I frown on trolling.

              Unless it's elegant. That wasn't.

              Lower case "j", by the way ...

              1. Local Group
                Unhappy

                @ jake, you are absolutely right.

                I should not have dragged you into my inelegant way of calling Matt Bryant's kettle black.**

                My apologies.

                **"The pot calling the kettle black" is an idiom used to accuse a person guilty of the very thing of which they are accusing that person of".

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  FAIL

                  RE: @ jake, you are absolutely right.

                  Ooh, look, it's another argumentless post from Local Fruitloop! Well, just as normal then. As I surmised, he's run out of spoonfed soundbites and is left with nothing but poor wit to post.

                  And to all those equating the term "conservative" with "throwback" or "regressive", you may want to consider that such mantras as National Socialism were once considered progressive....

                2. jake Silver badge

                  @ LG & MB

                  Local: No worries.

                  MB: Name calling does not do your cause any good. Quite the opposite, in fact.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                  2. Local Group
                    Happy

                    Hey Matt

                    You may be like a thankless child; but you're not sharper than a serpent's tooth.

                    You're just chronically silly and a little full of yourself.

                    I hope we're still friends. :-).

                    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Happy

                      RE: Hey Matt

                      "....I hope we're still friends...." You watch "The Great Global Warming Swindle" all the way through, actually take in what is being explained, and then we'll see.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The study is specifically referring

      to US and UK raised people. The surrounding culture you grow up in makes a difference to what you are likely to take for granted. To quote Chuck Palahniuk: “We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.”

      Assuming that everybody wants to have some say in the conditions of their own life the findings are not surprising. Raised in a market orientated culture with plenty of 'rags to riches' stories about, the naive view is likely to be one framed in terms of the individual. More intelligent consideration may lead people to realise that it is only through collective democratic institutions that they will have any say in what happens. Possibly in Japan, with a more collective culture, the results *would* be the exact opposite.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Silly assumption

        Only those who have never encountered both USA and UK culture at a working and living level can ever imagine that their societies and culture are the same or even similar.

        Being brought up in one (hate "raised", farm animals are "raised", "brought up" is more than just being born and fed) is bound to result in completely different attitudes and expectations from being brought up in the other.

        English is a derivative of a form of German. I never read articles treating British and German as equivalent (even though, in my experience, there is more commonality than with the USA)

        So, prejudice, bigotry, blind preference in the USA will emerge from different roots compared with those in UK (unless you spend all your time watching USA films and reading USA writers).

        But then, my bigotry is another man's orthodoxy.

        1. Vic

          > English is a derivative of a form of German.

          No it isn't.

          The Teutonic root is just one if the ancestors of English. The Romance root is the other biggie. And we have all sorts of other influences as well.

          English has pillaged the best bits from the languages of all our invaders, and come up with something that, until very recently indeed, was quite astoundingly expressive.

          It is just a shame that we are throwing away our grammar and vocabulary at such a rate :-(

          Vic.

  38. Joe Montana
    WTF?

    Cause and effect

    Is the fact that they're less intelligent what makes them more likely to be racist, or...

    How about the fact that less intelligent people are likely to be less affluent, and therefore living in poorer areas of town with higher crime and higher levels of immigrant population, as well as doing less skilled jobs that are more easily replaced by cheap immigrant labour?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      after RTFA theyre certainly saying "tards = social conservative redneck"

      If this is ever taken seriously it could be a bit of an own goal for these leftard social "science" academics.

      The gist of the "study" is low cognitive learning ability (a.k.a intelligence) determines the likelyhood of being racist.

      So, obviously the next step in eradicating racism worldwide is to identify the where the thickies reside and then .................................

      ................... exterminate them,

      (ushering in a 1,000 year global utopian Reich no doubt )

      <=National IQs Based on the Results of Intelligence Tests and Estimated National IQs=>

      ----- the nations of the smartest non-racists ----

      * Hong Kong - 107

      * Korea, South - 106

      * Austria - 102

      * Germany - 102

      * UK - 100

      -----the "hitlist" of the thickest nations -------

      * Pakistan - 81

      * Saudi Arabia - 83

      * Nigeria - 67

      * Zimbabwe - 66

      * Somalia - 68

      ---------------------------------------------------------

      <source: Intelligence and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations Table 4 >

      But fortunately our Germano-Mandarin speaking overlords will probably regard anything coming from social studies nobends as gualio fang pi ;-)

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        RE: after RTFA theyre certainly saying "tards = social conservative redneck"

        IQ results - especially amongst children - are directly related to problem-solving eductaion, so it is unfair to expect African nations with much lower educational standards to compare with those from countries where the population are classed in the kind of problem solving required for the way IQ tests are structured. For example, I can't find the article online but I read about a study where township kids in Soweto could add an extra 25 points to their IQ scores after only six months of schooling. It is also unfair to compare the UK with countries like Germany as we still haven't given the Scots independence yet.....

  39. Greg 16
    Thumb Down

    Authoritarianism = conservatism?

    Maybe in the US, but I'm not sure I would say the same of Europe and elsewhere.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Point proven

    Bryant wrote: "".....AGW denial...." I think there are (at last count) 260 continental Europeans so far this Winter"

    i = 1;

    while ( 1 )

    printf( "climate != weather\n" );

    You are a Conservative AICMFP

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Stop

      RE: Point proven

      "......climate != weather....."

      Yes, it's become very noticeable that, since we haven't seen the catastrophic warming that the AGW clowns predicted (in fact, since 1995 it's been on average COOLER), you truebeleivers have tried to shift the conversation away from warming to "climate", so you can claim any variaton in weather anywhere in the World is down to AGW. Try again, you're just getting far too predictable, in fact so much so I'm going to have to label you a climate science CONSERVATIVE (ooh, bet that hurts)!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Scientists are concerned with what actually IS the case.

        They are interested in being right on a longer timescale than, say, journalists. This means that the results of studies, one way or the other, are not a 'hot' emotional topic for them. They know that if they wrongly convince everybody of X and X turns out to be false, they will lose personal prestige. I can offer no opinion on what's happening to the climate, but I do know anti-scientific bullshit when I see it. Whether the scientific consensus on the climate is right or wrong, it is obvious that a well funded campaign is under way to manipulate people like you, presumably to serve some people's financial interests.

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          Facepalm

          RE: Scientists are concerned with what actually IS the case.

          "....it is obvious that a well funded campaign is under way to manipulate people like you...." Really? You mean there are people willing to PAY ME to show you how stupid you are!?! Wow, it was fun doing it for free but if there's cash I'll take some! Of course, I guess Al Gore has just been so short of funds, what with his fashionable celebrity supporters. Oh, didn't you know he was profitting MASSIVELY from all his "not-for-profit" environmentalism?

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/6496196/Al-Gore-profiting-from-climate-change-agenda.html

          http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/al-gore-denies-he-is-carbon-billionaire-1814199.html

          Yeah, that sound was your bubble bursting.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Al Gore?

            Who is that?

            Glad to see the Matt Bryants of temperate climes are still ignoring events in non-temperate climes. Shame that theoretical IQ does not tally with ability or education.

            a Non-American.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              FAIL

              RE: Al Gore?

              "....still ignoring events...." <Yawn> Yeah, more insistance of "ignoring", just without any events to back up your non-argument. Good thing you posted AC, or is it just too much for you to even remember your name?

            2. Local Group
              Trollface

              @AC. "The Matt Bryants of temperate climes".

              Gadzooks, AC, wouldn't that be a case of 'two heads being more kerflooey than one?'

      2. Local Group
        Thumb Down

        @Matt

        Perhaps you're right and "since 1995 (global temperature) has been on average COOLER", but why don't you mention where you trolled that statistic?

        Then you charge that shifting the conversation from global warming to climate change allows one to claim that variation in the weather anywhere in the world is down to AGW.

        Then you roll your hoop to the next forum to demonstrate your over-140-IQ there.

        But before you go, why don't you tell us what you think is causing the variation in the weather throughout the world? Or don't you think there is any variation in the world 's weather? Add something intelligent to the kettle. Is there a perceivable variation in the world's weather or not?

        And if there is a variation in the weather, how do you know for an absolute fact it isn't AGW? Is it because then you'd be wrong?

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          RE: @Matt

          So, mucho mucho dribbling, some more avoidance, and then we get to tha actual (stringy) meat of your post; "....what you think is causing the variation in the weather throughout the world?...." Newsflash - the weather is changing! Insert scenes of hysteria here! But, the weather has been changing for millions of years. If you didn't know (well, it's plainly clear you don't know much), there were these things called "ice ages", and periods when the planet was actually much hotter than today. Until about 18,000 years ago we were in one of those ice ages, with most of Europe and the US covered in glaciers. There weren't any factories or cars or other human activity to warm the planet up to the point about 3000 years ago when most of Europe and the US was warm and covered in trees, the planet did it itself.

          Some scientists (and that's real, qualified and experienced scientists, not Al Gore) think we're actually heading into a new ice age, which would really be ironic! But there have been higher peaks in atmospheric carbon-dioxide as well, occurring hundreds-of-thousasnds of years ago (what, you think the dinosaurs were all driving SUVs!?!?). The scientific data also shows levels of CO2 rising BEHIND the rise in temperature, not the CO2 leading to the rise in temperature.

          In short, putting any current changes in climate down as solely due to human activity is to ignore the huge amount of variations in the past when human activity was inconsequential. Once again, you fail due to your inability to think beyond what you are told is "hip and trendy" science.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            But Matt...

            ...since "putting any current changes in climate down as solely due to human activity" is something nobody is doing, you are simply offering us a straw man argument. What is disagreed about is the extent to which human activities affect the climate. Only an idiot would expect it to have no effect or to be the sole cause of any changes.

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Facepalm

              RE: But Matt...

              ".....Only an idiot would expect it to have no effect or to be the sole cause of any changes." I think you need to have a chat with the IPCC (and the Greenpeckers, and Al Gore) as they said exactly that - human activity is the prime cause of global warming and is going to cause a disaster. That's what Kyoto is all about - pretending that the human contribution to factors such as CO2 is the root cause of some unstoppable global warming disaster.

      3. Local Group
        Devil

        @Matt Feb 5 13:34. Matt. You gotta stop making sh?t up.

        "Yes, it's become very noticeable that, since we haven't seen the catastrophic warming that the AGW clowns predicted (in fact, since 1995 it's been on average COOLER)".

        No citation for that, Matt? When you have heatstroke, do you really care what the average over 10 years is?

        "Observations compiled by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center indicate that over the past century, temperatures rose across the contiguous United States at an average rate of 0.11°F per decade (1.1°F per century). Average temperatures rose at an increased rate of 0.56°F per decade from 1979 to 2005. The most recent eight-, nine-, and ten-year periods were the warmest on record.

        Warming occurred throughout most of the U.S., with all but three of the eleven climate regions showing an increase of more than 1°F since 1901. The greatest temperature increase occurred in Alaska (3.3°F per century). The Southeast experienced a very slight cooling trend over the entire period (-0.04°F per century), but shows warming since 1979.

        Records from land stations and ships indicate that the global mean surface temperature warmed be about 0.9°F since 1880 (see Figure 1). These records indicate a near level trend in temperatures from 1880 to about 1910, a rise to 1945, a slight decline to about 1975, and a rise to present (NRC, 2006). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 2007 that warming of the climate system is now “unequivocal,” based on observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level (IPCC, 2007).

        Since the mid 1970s, the average surface temperature has warmed about 1°F.

        The Earth’s surface is currently warming at a rate of about 0.29ºF/decade or 2.9°F/century.

        ***The eight warmest years on record (since 1880) have all occurred since 2001, with the warmest year being 2005.".***

        http://epa.gov/climatechange/science/recenttc.html#tropospheric

        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
          FAIL

          Try looking here:

          http://www.thegwpf.org/science-news/4902-sunday-times-why-has-it-warmed-so-much-less-than-ipcc-predicted.html

          Or here, which points out clouds are much more inportant than CO2 in teh antartcis weather system:

          http://notrickszone.com/2012/01/16/alfred-wegener-institute-neumayer-station-iii-antarctic-cooling-over-the-last-30-years/

          You may also want to watch the following, although then again you may not as it will just make you realise how wrong you are:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtevF4B4RtQ

          This stuff has been out there for ages, only the AGW Turebelievers (i.e., the politically indoctrinated and those that take anti-capitalism as a religion) are still pushing the AGW whaffle.

          1. Local Group
            Happy

            Seriously, Matt, thanks for the link to 'the great global warming swindle'.

            I don't really have a dog in the global warming fight, I can go either way. I just enjoy pulling your chain.

            So why the thanks?

            Because the GGWS pointed out to me something that adds another arrow to my Peak oil quiver.

            Something obvious that I overlooked till now and whose onset fits perfectly with the Peak oil chronology. Thanks again.

            You may resume your verbal abuse. :-)

            1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
              Pirate

              RE: Seriously, Matt, thanks for the link to 'the great global warming swindle'.

              Did you like the bit where one of the founders of Greenpeace explained how the "Green" movement had been hijacked by leftover lefties after their Communist dreams fell to bits with the Berlin Wall? Nice to hear someone like that confirming that the modern "environmentalists" are nothing but rabid anti-capitalists in a new guise. Seems we have mroe than one of them posting here.

              1. Local Group
                Happy

                RE: Seriously, Matt

                I liked what I saw (about 30 minutes; there's a limit how much I will watch on an a iPad in one sitting. I'll watch the rest later). I always want to hear both sides of an argument. I enjoy well executed commercials

                Having said that, I don't buy that "the "Green" movement had been hijacked by leftover lefties after their Communist dreams fell apart." It may have been hijacked; and it may have been hijacked by leftover lefties after the Berlin Wall. However, it was the Peak Oil Party that really seized the movement. The Peak Oilers have been King of the Hill since then.

                What interest would PO proponents have in the environment, global warming, and CO2?

                I'll give you a hint. It has to do with Developing Countries. :-)

                1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                  Facepalm

                  RE: RE: Seriously, Matt

                  ".......I don't buy that "the "Green" movement had been hijacked by leftover lefties after their Communist dreams fell apart."..." Erm, that's just what the Greenpeace founder said, and I don't see you as being in a better position to pass comment.

                  1. This post has been deleted by its author

                  2. Local Group
                    Megaphone

                    Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean...

                    That's kinda like us, Matt.

                    You want to talk about everything except Peak oil and for me it's the only topic worth talking about.

                    Did it ever occur to you that when the developed nations of the world wanted the undeveloped countries to decelerate their growth, it wasn't because of CO2? No, they really wanted them to slow their demand for oil which comes with growth; viz., China, India, et alia. So I still don't buy that the "Green" movement was hijacked by leftover lefties. It was the beginning of the government's surreptitious and ongoing propaganda campaign to keep all of us out of the jaws of panic.

                    150,000 invade Iraq, not for first refusal of the oil there, but for the termination with prejudice of Saddam Hussein before he could use his WMD. I don't know how it behooves anyone to believe that?

                    And then the complete chaos of the region when we dumped one of our oldest allies in Egypt, who was arrested for actions we had no doubt encouraged him to take and then told his prosecutors about.

                    And which caused a revolution in neighboring Libya, to overthrow a corrupt dictator, who had been alright with us until he was found guilty of not exploring, drilling and pumping fast enough for us masters of the universe.

                    Syria only pumps 100,000 bpd but we could probably get that up to 200,000 bps. During Peak oil every drop counts. Plus we would have land and naval bases on the southern side of the Turkish fatinsula and which would end some of the insomnia in Tel Aviv. I guess no one was surprised when Russia nixed that. I wasn't.

                    That leaves Venezuela and Iran, two of the largest oil reserves on the planet. Rattle, rattle, rattle.

                    No saber rattling in Africa, and, except for pro forma rattles at North Korea, no threats of war in Asia; no place, except those oil producing nations we do not have by the short hairs.

                    Don't miss a film called "The Artist.".

                    1. jake Silver badge
                      Pint

                      @ LG & MB

                      Get a room. Or take it to Usenet or email. You are two peas in a pod. Bell shaped curve & wingnuts & all that. We've heard it all before. It's getting excruciatingly boring. He said/she said, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

                      But that's just my NECTHO. YMMV, and probably does. Carry on :-)

                      Beers all around?

                      1. Local Group
                        Pint

                        @ jake you know how these things get out of hand.

                        Matt's a nice guy, I just hate to see him on the road to nowhere. (I don't think it's over either. He has to have the last word.)

                        You're right about the truth. It lurks in the middle, until it slaps you on the neck with a taser.

                        Thanks for mediating :-)

                        1. jake Silver badge
                          Pint

                          @LG

                          I'm not a mediator. I'm a realist who is getting really tired of extremists babbling their point of view, without understanding the reality of the real world ...

                          And please note that I'm a commentard, not an ElReg employee (or sycophant, for that matter).

                          Beer is good. Rumor has it that civilization was built on it ...

                          1. Local Group

                            @ jake

                            I remember when those babbling extremists arrived like broomsticks and buckets of water from RR's "Sorcerer's Apprentice". Yet, when they speak nicely and quietly, I feel compelled to converse with them. Fear of losing what wealth they have and avarice to accumulate more are their prime motivators. One of my closest friends is one -- we NEVER talk politics.

                            As far as el reg is concerned, I am in awe of the commentary.

                            Don't know how I got here, glad I did. :-)

                      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                        Happy

                        RE: @ LG & MB

                        Aw, jake, you're ruining the fun of exposing trendy sheeple like Local Fruitloop. You see, for people like him there is only One Truth, it becomes like a religion to them, which is all the more ironic given that they are usually the same people that ridicule others' religious beliefs. When faced with evidence that questions their OneTruth, they fall back on evasions, denials and insults, being unable to accept their own naivety.

                    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                      Facepalm

                      RE: Jack Sprat could eat no fat. His wife could eat no lean...

                      ".....You want to talk about everything except Peak oil...." No, I countered your attempt to switch off a topic you were failing in for a topic of your choice. As I explained before, it's a common tactic amongst poor debaters to try such topic changes. I did challenge you to try returning to the topic of the thread, which you have avoided, for obvious reasons.

                      ".....Saddam Hussein...." Saddam never cut off oil supplies, indeed he wanted to sell MORE oil as he needed the revenues to bolster his military machine and oppression of his own people. It was the UN that imposed restrictions on his oil exports, including the US and UK. Indeed, the US and allies are withdrawing from Iraq, which destroys your insistance they were there only to "steal the oil". Try again, major fail.

                      ".....No saber rattling in Africa...." Which is where your laughable theory is really exposed. Africa has massive and mostly untapped oil reserves, yet no US-led "invasions". Even countries like Nigeria, which has an established oil industry, have not been invaded and occupied by the US, which is what your theory would require.

                      "....Don't miss a film called "The Artist."." Fictional stories about actors struggling to cope with the introduction of new technology? It would seem your inabaility to use modern scientific data to back up your arguments, instead relying on outdated, debunked and "trendy" theorems such as AGW, make you the Valentin in ths case.

                      Please, drop the silliness and evasions and at least try to get back on-topic, if only to save some semblence of intelligence.

                      1. Local Group
                        Stop

                        Matt Potter and the Goblet of Crude Oil

                        So an asteroid the size of Alaska is hurtling through space on an indisputable collision course with Earth. The governments of the planet are silent about it. Only a small percent of the population is aware of the danger, the rest are going about their business as usual. There isn't much time left.

                        Our good friend, Matt, is up on his soap box expressing his displeasure with the anti-capitalism crowd and the stinking liberals who hijacked the environmental movement and changed it to AGW and then to Climate Change. He shakes his fist at the heavens and spews his contempt at those who do not share his priorities of ickiness

                        Matt, why would anyone sweat the little things like anti-capitalism and hijacked environmentalism, when Peak oil is the Ace of Trumps?

                        Matt, please see 'The Artist'. Get a date. I'll buy the popcorn.

                        1. Matt Bryant Silver badge

                          RE: Matt Potter and the Goblet of Crude Oil

                          "So an asteroid...." Hmmm, looks like LG is getting so desperate in his evasions he's actually run out of trendy causes to jump to! Not surprised he's still so far off the topic of the thread when he's been so thoroughly debunked there.

                          ".....Matt, please see 'The Artist'....." Sorry, not really my type of film, thanks. Maybe when it's on Sky Movies I'll watch it, if there's nothing else on. I suggest instead you go watch "Johnny English Reborn", a much more entertaining film. Try not to scream "Peak Oil!" at the screen in the scenes with the gas-guzzling Roller.

                          1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                            Happy

                            RE: RE: Matt Potter and the Goblet of Crude Oil

                            Oh, and forgot to add that Rosamund Pike is also a lot easier on the eye than Bérénice Bejo, IMHO.

                            1. Local Group
                              Go

                              Well, dude, at least you know something about women -- if nothing else.

                              Here's a tip though. If by some stroke of luck your'e ever out with a Ms. Pike type, try not to talk too much. If you do, you'll sink the Lusitania.

                              And if Berenice Bejo was ever doin' a tap dance on your abs, make sure your cell phone is off and in the other room.

                              Good luck. We'll all miss you here at el reg. :-)

                              1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
                                Happy

                                Re: Well, dude, at least you know something about women -- if nothing else.

                                Well, thanks for the thought, LG, but I would suggest it's a bit late in the day for me to be dating (and Mr B might be a bit unimpressed at the idea too!). Besides, I'm sure Ms Bejo will be too busy hanging onto Sean Penn's coattails and making publicity-seeking statements about the Falklands to be out dating. Where one Hollywood sheep goes, the others soon follow.

  41. Andrew Williams
    Mushroom

    Studies like this make me want to hurl

    They are long on conclusion, short on method and analysis and in all likelihood the data was made to fit the predetermined conclusion.

    As we all know, it is the white mice we have to fear, and this researcher has as with many others fallen prey to their cunning ministrations and orchestrations.

    Other than that it is amusing to see the revisionists hard at work trying to tell the world that Stalin et al weren't really the epitome of the left but were really right wing stooges.

  42. Local Group
    Paris Hilton

    The defensive attitude of our more intelligent male posters explained.

    "In several articles, J. Phillipe Rushton, a psychologist at the University of Western Ontario, raised an uproar by claiming that different races have different brain and penis sizes. As brain size decreases, he maintained, penis size increases. He concluded that races with larger brains are more intelligent but also more sexually inhibited, while those with smaller brains are not quite as bright but mate like bunny rabbits. Last year, in a new study, he repeated his ideas about brain size with an added twist--within each race, he said, women have smaller brains than men. C. Davison Ankney, a Canadian colleague of Rushton’s, joined in with a reexamination of data, taken from more than 1,200 corpses in Cleveland, that had shown no significant difference in brain size between men and women. Ankney claimed the analysis was simply faulty. Done properly, he said, size differences became apparent--and meaningful. Women’s brains were smaller.". Apologies to the distaff side. (If this is a pun, I take credit for it.)

    http://discovermagazine.com/1993/oct/sexracebrainsand288

    Paris, because her surprises come in large packages.

  43. YARR
    FAIL

    Discredited research

    How can insulting less intelligent members of society as "thick dimwits" be considered morally permissible, while insulting people for other attributes of their make up is considered impermissible? This attitude would appear to be totally contrary to the stated aim of addressing "negativity toward out-groups".

    There are several obvious flaws in how the data was gathered and the assumptions that it makes.

    1. Have the samples been adjusted to compensate for how many years the subject spent in an educational (i.e. anti-racist and anti-homophobic indoctrination) institution? Those subjects who spend fewer of their formative years in such an institution will consequently be exposed to less indoctrination and thus be at a perceived disadvantage.

    2. Given the environment of discrimination against racism or homophobia that exists within educational establishments, did those collecting the data not consider that anyone who has racist or homophobic beliefs is repressed within that environment? For instance, people are socially excluded, physically attacked and in some instances mandated to leave an educational institution for professing such opinions. Given this discriminatory environment, the researchers ought to have considered whether subjects provided truthful answers to all these questions.

    3. The indefinite wording of the questions does not allow accurate conclusions to be drawn. For example, affirming that the subject "wouldn't mind working with people from other races" does not prove they are not racist. "wouldn't mind working with" does not discount a preference to work with people of their own race. Nor does it indicate whether they believe races are all equal.

    By combining this new research with the conclusions of the Bell Curve theory (that racial differences exist in average IQ) we can infer that black people are most likely to have conservative, racist, homophobic (or "dark attitudes"). What possible benefit to society does this divisive research serve?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The perfect study!!

    "The team stress these results are based around median levels, meaning there are plenty of smart racists and tolerant thick people. "

    So in other words, the study is absolutely worthless.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    I file this firmly under...

    "It sounds like something I'd like to be true and hearing someone else say what I think means it is", right next to "Internet Explorer users have a lower IQ than users of other browsers"

  46. Keep Refrigerated
    Big Brother

    False Dichotomy

    I question any study that claims to take geopolitical data mashed from both the UK and US, ignoring any other variables such as environment, then form coherent conclusions from those results.

    For a start, the US does not have a 'left' and a 'right' political landscape - the US has 'center-right' and 'far-right'. Subsequently many UK 'conservatives' espouse a number of values that US 'conservatives' would find 'liberal' or 'communist'.

    Based on the premise above, I'd be interested to see what the conclusion would be if it were country that was used as the dichotomy. I imagine the results would look unfavourably on all Americans if country were factored in. Similarly, what of race? Or would factoring race cause the study to be less accepted by those with a political bias and a vested interest in the outcome?

    Meh, I'm tired of seeing political debate framed in such a way. All I see is a group of people with slightly different ideals; unanimous in their attempt to keep themselves in power and take a slice of the pie whilst they're at it.

    The 'left' and 'right' divide, which has a variable sliding scale depending on which country it is set, benefits them more than anyone else. They've convinced the great unwashed that the enemy is on the other side, rather than seeing the true enemy to be the man behind the curtain who pulls the strings of both.

  47. Chris Parsons

    Nonsense!

    I'm really bright and incredibly right-wing!

  48. doctariAFC

    sounds like Diederik Stapel has a new job...

  49. Entropiated
    Holmes

    The ability to accept being wrong

    Four pages worth of comments... very entertaining to read. Most of my points have been made already.

    I think part of what makes a truly intelligent person is the ability to perceive when a mistake is made. It's all well and good to have great ideas, but if you're not able to discern when those great ideas aren't working out then intelligent you are not. I'll add to my description of intelligence the ability to accept ideas from other people and to recognize when those ideas are superior to your own.

    There are extremists on both sides who are deeply entrenched and unwilling to consider different points of view, let alone compromise. You'll recognize them because right from go any argument turns personal. Anybody who disagrees with their points of view are immediately branded an enemy and not worthy of basic human decency and respect. These are the truly stupid people and the ones who represent a real danger to humanity. You can find them on the extreme right and left. No side has a monopoly.

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