FROM HELL'S HEART, I STAB AT MONDAY

Posted in Arbitrary Thing of the Day on January 28th, 2013 by Ed

ANTECEDENT VARIABLES

Posted in Ed vs. Logical Fallacies on January 28th, 2013 by Ed

If you've ever sat through a course on statistics, logic, or nearly any social science you've seen the example of the strong correlation between ice cream sales and crime. Although this is usually used to emphasize that correlation and causality are not always found together, it has also been useful to me when teaching research methods to illustrate the concept of antecedent variables. These are variables that explain, in whole or in part, the relationship between two other variables that are (or appear to be) correlated. In this instance the antecedent that drives both crime and ice cream sales is of course warm weather. Another good example is the relationship between educational attainment and income, both of which are positively influenced by parental income.

I could probably spend the rest of my life explaining this concept to Betsy Woodruff over at America's Crappiest Websitetm without having it sink in enough to make her retract this gem: "Are Frat Brothers Natural Conservatives? For many, the Greek system may offer a respite from liberal academia." It's loaded with gems of logic such as, "He says part of the reason members of the Greek system tend to be more conservative than their independent peers is that the organizations celebrate tradition and history."

Yes, that. And the fact that fraternities are, by definition, loaded to the gunwales with white males from wealthy families. I wonder if that could explain both their presence in the priciest parts of campus and their conservatism.

What do I know, I'm just a liberal academic. I'd better get some rest, I have a long day of indoctrinating students in my new course, "POLS 102: Embracing Muslim Communist Homo-Bortion". The prerequisite is defiling a Holy Bible.

But wait! There's more! Check out this adorable little blurb:

"The real thing we faced, even more than the bureaucracy of the university, was the on-campus media," he says. "It was something we were constantly combating, having negative stories surrounding our fraternity or other fraternities on campus being the highlight in the school newspaper."

He says negative stories were blown out of proportion and given front-page real estate, while the sparse coverage of Greeks' philanthropic work was relegated to the back. And Warren says the bias could have been a product of liberal push-back against institutions perceived as bastions of conservatism. Burns noticed the same thing. He described the paper at the University of Indiana as "extremely liberal" and "very, very against the Greek system." When he travels to promote his publication on other campuses, he says, he consistently hears stories of anti-Greek bias among student journalists.

Well they're certainly good conservatives; they're not even 21 and they already excel at blaming their image problems on the media. I don't understand why "Greek Life" doesn't get better press, what with the explicit classism and the commonly ostentatious lifestyles and the hazing and the sexual assaults and the annual excitement of Deaths from Alcohol Poisoning during Rush Week.

Also, "University of Indiana" doesn't exist, you nitwits.