Blog author: jcarter
by on Monday, July 23, 2012

The Conservatives vs. the Intellectuals?
Peter Lawler, Big Think

Arguably, the biggest change since the time of Socrates is the idea of the free person—one introduced into the world by Biblical and Christian thought. When our deterministic scientists deny the real existence of the free person, they, today’s conservatives often object, are asserting more they they really know.

Does teacher merit pay work? A new study says yes.
Dylan Matthews, Wonkblog

There’s very good evidence that teacher quality matters a lot in terms of student performance in school and success later on in life.


Garbage and the Herd Mentality
Freakonomics

Using high-frequency data on litter at treated and control locations before, during, and after the experiment, we find strong evidence that litter begets litter. However, we also find evidence that some people start to clean up after themselves when public cleaning services are diminished.

Capitalism and the Moral Basis of Social Order
Russell Kirk, The Imaginative Conservative

A number of Americans, fancying that the world is governed mainly by economic doctrines and practices, are inclined to think that an era of international good feeling lies before us. I intend to sprinkle some drops of cold water on such hasty hopes.


  • Roger McKinney

    “One’s initial surprise at finding that intelligent people tend to be socialists diminishes when one realises that, of course, intelligent people overvalue intelligence, and suppose that we must owe all the advantages and opportunities that our civilisation offers to deliberate design…rather than to following traditional rules, and likewise to suppose that we can, by exercising our reason, eliminate any remaining undesired features by still more intelligent reflection, and still more appropriate design and `rational coordination’ of our undertakings. This leads one to be favourably disposed to the central economic planning and control that lie at the heart of socialism. Of course intellectuals will demand explanations for everything they are expected to do, and will be reluctant to accept practices just because they happen to govern the communities into which they happen to have been born; and this will lead them into conflict with, or at least to a low opinion of, those who quietly accept prevailing rules of conduct. Moreover, they also understandably will want to align themselves with science and reason, and with the extraordinary progress made by the physical sciences during the past several centuries, and since they have been taught that constructivism and scientism are what science and the use of reason are all about, they find it hard to believe that there can exist any useful knowledge that did not originate in deliberate experimentation, or to accept the validity of any tradition apart from their own tradition of reason. Thus a distinguished historian has written in this vein: Tradition is almost by definition reprehensible, something to be mocked and deplored’ (Seton-Watson, 1983:1270). Pages 52-54 “Fatal Conceit”. From Sribd online book.