There is the problem of trying to reduce something complex, into something managable. I’m not sure which competing vision is correct, or to be honest if they are even at variance with each other, although I could spend a couple of hours figuring it all out for you, my dear, dear, readers. In fact I probably will, but it isn’t something I would blog about in the framework presented, either by CNN or Balloon Juice, or by Mr. DeVega. I would wager that there are right wing sites that are using the same charts to draw opposite conclusions from the data.
While I tend to criticize college kids of any age, it is for this very reason, not because they can study the same statistics and draw different conclusions, but that they do so using the same methodology, that they were taught to use in their various colleges. For want of a better analogy it is symmetrical analysis of the data. It means what you were taught what it could mean. College required you to see the information, and analyze it, within an acceptable framework of thought, in order to receive the approval of the professor or instructor and obtain a grade. By not having gone through that process I am free from those constraints and may either accept your analysis, varied as it may be, or do my own asymmetrical analysis and draw very different conclusions with very different objectives than those of your own.
Those of you who have followed this blog know that. I do not criticize college education for the knowledge it imparts, but for the knowledge it covers over, not because it limits anyone’s thinking abilities, but their abilities to think. These are distinctions that seem to be easily missed by the college educated as they become defensive of their training. I think many of you take what I view as a systemic failure, to be an accusation of an individual one. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is not our ability to think that concerns me, it is our capability to think that does.
Just to add, if you think the Muslim and Arabic worlds are stuck in the Middle Ages, how much so are we, stuck in the Scholastic methods of education of the 10th century?