Interesting random data

Off topic — today’s topic being SHERRODGATE — the Brookings Institution (via ThinkTanked and HuffPost) has some neat data on which metropolitan areas are the least and most educated, using various measures. Using “percentage of population over 25 with bachelor’s degrees” or “percentage of population with a graduate degree”, 24 of the top 25 areas are in states that went for Obama in 2008.

I don’t mean this to be all “Republicans are teh stupid” or “people without a lot of formal education are teh stupid”, I just find this kind of demographic data interesting and thought you might too.

Also too, you may use this an open thread to refudiate any of the things said on this blog today.






81 replies
  1. 1
    Redshirt says:

    I know some will object, but isn’t it true, at least in general: To be a wingnut IS to be stupid; I’d say the same about any religious fanatic, or in fact, anyone who takes any religion literally. They’re either crazy, stupid, or crazy-stupid.

  2. 2
    Dork says:

    Without looking at the link, can I guess Austin, TX is the anomoly?

  3. 3
    Bill H says:

    Friend of mine had a PhD in Management Information Systems. We were out hiking and took a break and when we went to get up he discovered a rattlesnake was about a foot behind where he was sitting. His conclusion was that he no longer needed to look out for rattlesnakes in the future because he had sat next to one for ten minutes without getting bit.

  4. 4
    DougJ says:

    @Dork:

    You are correct, sir.

  5. 5
    sherifffruitfly says:

    What’s especially galling about Sherrodgate is how after decades of white folks de-legitimatizing any racism complaints from black folks (via locutions like “oversensitive”, “can’t take a joke”, etc.), and decades after white folks invent and propagate the non-concept of “reverse racism” to further insulate themselves from charges of racism, white lefty bloggers call Obama a coward.

    Reminds me of the schoolyard bully, hitting a kid with his own hand, yelling at him “why do you keep hitting yourself???”. lmao

    Yet more proof: race > everything.

  6. 6
    DougJ says:

    @Redshirt:

    Tea Baggers have roughly the same level of educational attainment as the rest of the country, according to that Greenberg-Quinlan-Rosner study. I think they measured by “some college”.

  7. 7
    stuckinred says:

    It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out in Georgia. Karen Handel, one of the pukes in the puke gov runoff doesn’t have and undergrad degree and Nathan Deal is a moron with one. Barnes is hammering away that we are the laughing stock of the nation with all these backwoods laws we’ve had passed recently. I know it’s popular to think of this as a red state but Moonpie Purdue was the first puke gov since the damn civil war!

  8. 8

    @sherifffruitfly: Because this episode shows him to be one. Or did you not see what Jim Messina(Rahm’s chief lackey) said yesterday? Who are they supposed to be again? Doesn’t seem like Democrats to me. They prefer a good woman got smeared.

  9. 9
    matoko_chan says:

    DougJ

    “Republicans are teh stupid” or “people without a lot of formal education are teh stupid”

    not republicans, conservatives.
    my hypothesis is that there is a significant measureable between group difference in IQ between liberals and conservatives…for the following reasons.
    1. evolutionary psych and the savannah principle and the biological basis of political affiliation
    2. games theory
    In gaming, people choose the game they do well at, and clever designers offer skillups, or skill levelling. Conservativism offers a kind of social levelling for IQ and g.
    Intellectuals, “elites” and fancy educations are scorned by conservatives in favor of religiosity and “commonsense”.
    Being branded an “elite” or an “intellectual” in conservatism results in negative social capital.
    So religiosity and commonsense are skillups for conservatives. This is called rubberband theory.
    Conservatives self-select based on social levelling for IQ and g.
    3. memetic selection
    Consider the last 50 years of memetic selection in the conservative base.
    Selection for voters who can be manipulated into voting against their economic self-interest, who are sufficiently undereducated to not understand ToE and basic meiosis, who are highly xenophobic, who despise science, intellectuals and acadame and whose religiosity index is extremely high.
    Its like accidental biomemetic engineering that has produced a malleable population extremely permeable to fearmongering and demagoguery…indeed that only responds to slogans and race-bating and IQ-bating.
    4. fMRI
    Eventually we will have conservative and liberal fMRI templates that overlay on IQ and g.

    I wonder if there will be IQ riots or if people will just quietly change their voter registration to look smarter?

    and this is snarky and bad…i admit it. :)
    the funnest thing of all will be watching Steve Sailor try to weasel word the research findings.
    hahaha

  10. 10
    EFroh says:

    Dammit don’t use that word (i.e. re*******)! Because the more I see it, the more I can feel my brain WANTING to use it, a la “internets” and “misunderestimate”.

  11. 11
    Allison W. says:

    “people without a lot of formal education are teh stupid”

    MSM line, WH press corp and half the blogosphere prove that educated people can be teh stupid

  12. 12
    David in NY says:

    @Dork:

    anomaly

  13. 13
    Bob L says:

    Also too, you may use this an open thread to refudiate any of the things said on this blog today.

    I applaud your celebration of English as a living language Doug.

  14. 14
    Redshirt says:

    I’ve learned from attending several parties at Harvard that college grads – even *gasp* Ivy Leaguers – can be incredibly stupid. I assume it’s all because of legacy issues, but that could also explain the stupid wingnuts as well.

  15. 15
    Tom Hilton says:

    Two of the top 5 areas are part of the larger Bay Area, possibly the most liberal metropolitan area in the country. So, yeah, that makes sense.

  16. 16
    stuckinred says:

    @Redshirt: Legacies just get you in, right. Ooops, W!

  17. 17
    LikeableInMyOwnWay says:

    @EFroh:

    Just axe him not to use it, and the word will never pass his larnyx.

  18. 18
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Redshirt: the thing I can’t get over is that David Vitter was a Rhodes scholar. Ivy League legacy idiots I can understand, but Rhodes scholars are actually supposed to be pretty smart.

  19. 19
    stuckinred says:

    Breaking on CNN, Gibbs says Sherrod is owed an apology.

  20. 20
    David in NY says:

    @Redshirt:

    You know, there are different kinds of stupid, just like different kinds of intelligent. Education, testing, and certification of various kinds screen out some kinds of stupid, but hardly all.

  21. 21
    Napoleon says:

    I grew up in #94 and live in #53.

    PS, for the record both areas solidly Democratic.

  22. 22
    flukebucket says:

    Speaking of oil spills that is one hell of a mess they have there in China.

  23. 23
    Tonal Crow says:

    And on today’s Steelewatch, RNC treasurer says Steele hid $7 million in debt

    Hmm, GOPers want to run America’s books, but can’t balance their own. Hmm.

  24. 24
    Mike in NC says:

    24 of the top 25 areas are in states that went for Obama in 2008.

    Damn those pinhead librul elitists and their fancy book-learnin’.

  25. 25
    flukebucket says:

    @stuckinred:

    Handel got the Palin endorsement so I believe she will get the Republican nomination. I will laugh like hell if Roy wins in November.

  26. 26
    MTiffany says:

    “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.”

    — Ben Franklin

    And any Republican will tell you that they’ve got a better work ethic than anyone else…

  27. 27
    stuckinred says:

    Gibbs, @flukebucket: And Newt endorsed the knuckle dragger. . .the other knuckle dragger.

  28. 28
    Amir_Khalid says:

    How Sarah Palin’s new word should really be used: “I’m hungry. Refudiate me.”

  29. 29
    DougJ says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    Not as smart as you think…but pretty smart. A good friend of mine was one, so I know a few.

  30. 30
    stuckinred says:

    Gibbs extended the apology himself and was “contrite” and combative.

  31. 31

    @Redshirt:

    I’ve learned from attending several parties at Harvard that college grads – even gasp Ivy Leaguers – can be incredibly stupid. I assume it’s all because of legacy issues, but that could also explain the stupid wingnuts as well.

    This couldn’t surprise me less, though I guess it’s partially because of my exposure to plenty of Ivy League graduates. It’s a great accomplishment to be accepted to an Ivy League school, and obviously I’d be lying if I said I preferred going to my law school over Harvard or Yale.

    When you meet Ivy Leaguers who are, as you said, “incredibly stupid,” my initial thought is that they’ve bought into their own hype. The great accomplishment isn’t supposed to be complete by just getting into an elite institution; you’re supposed to do something. There are plenty of people who think they’ve accomplished something because they received an acceptance letter, and it’s reflective in their thoughts and actions.

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of very intelligent people who never went to college. The ones who succeed seem, anecdotally, to have two primary qualities – (1) they have a lot of common sense and are very practical, (2) they value learning and knowledge even if they haven’t had access to a formal education.

  32. 32
    Calming Influence says:

    Off-off-topic, but as a well educated person living amongst other well educated persons, I am compelled to point to a FLAW on the Balloon Juice internets web-tube: one of the rotating tag-lines reads “Feedom isn’t free”.

    The correct phrase is “Feedom isn’t fee”.

    Thank you, that is all.

  33. 33
    Redshirt says:

    @Tom Hilton: Yeah, when I heard Vitter was a Rhodes Scholar, I was taken aback. You’ve got to earn that.

    So, one has to assume, then, that Vitter, at least, is fully aware of what he’s doing, and just doesn’t care about the moral implications.

    It’s not foolproof, but the more you know, the more liberal you become, because of the simple act of understanding the world beyond your own skin. That it’s not all about you.

    Compassion is the root of wisdom, and compassion is a liberal trait.

  34. 34
    flukebucket says:

    @stuckinred:

    I think the Palin endorsement means more than the Gingrich endorsement here in Georgia. I still think Palin would carry this state if she would run in 2012.

    What can any of you guys point me to that explains all of the hoopla going on about 1099’s in 2012? Neal Boortz has been in a tizzy about it and has gotten the rubes here in my neck of the woods all in a lather about it. The only thing I have been able to tell them is that I cannot see for the life of me how 1099’s are going to end small business as we know it.

  35. 35
    El Tiburon says:

    Off topic: has anyone thought of starting a “Shirley sherrod sue the shit out of breitbart” fund?

  36. 36
    stuckinred says:

    @flukebucket: Guess I’m isolated over here in the People’s Republic of Athens!

  37. 37
  38. 38
    licensed to kill time says:

    Refudiation, where does it get me?
    all tangled up in lives of words who’ve hardly met me
    they might forget me

    /Sparkleplenty Palin

  39. 39
    DougJ says:

    @Adam Collyer:

    It’s a great accomplishment to be accepted to an Ivy League school

    No, it’s not. With a few exceptions (and I can’t think of any off the top of my head, though I’m sure there are some), very little that an 18 year-old does can be called a “great accomplishment”.

  40. 40
    Redshirt says:

    @Adam Collyer: Indeed. I’ve known way too many stupid Ivy Leaguers not to have the shine removed from that golden halo. That said, I’ve also met some really bright folks too, of course. I’ve always just assumed there’s a dividing line at all elite schools between money and merit, and for a few others as well, athletics.

    But, to tie this back to the wingnuts, do they not act just like a Legacy might? They have this inflamed sense of ownership – MY COUNTRY! – and that gives them the right to do whatever they want. Cuz the new folks (for new, read: darker skin) are ruining everything! Yet, in truth, they’re idiots that least understand the very qualities they purport to hold dear.

  41. 41
    Jager says:

    @Redshirt:

    Vitter picked up that kinky shit while he was in England!

  42. 42
  43. 43
    John Bird says:

    I wonder how many of those folks Republicans could peel off merely by suddenly flip-flopping on the issue of student loans?

  44. 44
    Ahasuerus says:

    Apropos of the notion that our conservative brethren are possibly possessed of rather different notions of intelligence, I give you this story from Slashdot, entitled Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion. And as an added frisson, there is an archetypal Slashdot flamefest about the Sherrod Brown affair in the comments.

    I love reality; it tastes like chicken.

  45. 45
    flukebucket says:

    @stuckinred:

    I have been through Athens a time or two. I can even remember the B&L Warehouse

  46. 46
    Joshua says:

    I’ve spent a few minutes browing the data and holy crap, Mississippi is a terrible state by every metric. The only times I’ve seen that place in the top 10 are gender inequality (10th), and poverty (1st). Real America!

  47. 47
    cleek says:

    @flukebucket:
    According to this, businesses will have to file 1099s for any other business that they do more than $600 worth of trade with (in a year).

    it’s going to be a lot more paperwork, yes. but any business that can’t handle the task probably shouldn’t be in business to begin with – this ain’t exactly brain surgery.

  48. 48
    Zifnab says:

    @Redshirt:

    I’ve learned from attending several parties at Harvard that college grads – even gasp Ivy Leaguers – can be incredibly stupid. I assume it’s all because of legacy issues, but that could also explain the stupid wingnuts as well.

    I work IT for medical professionals, and I will happily attest that you can be incredibly smart and still be completely ignorant on a given topic – in this case, doctors who don’t know basic windows functions to save their lives.

    You can be educated in a host of subjects and still not understand general economic theories. You can be dumb as a brick, but with proper study make a perfectly functional niche academic.

  49. 49
    Robert says:

    That’s an interesting table but these kinds of things are almost always better when presented graphically. Sort of like this.

  50. 50
    cleek says:

    can’t edit my comment above… see, also, this CNN article.

    it’s just a way to prevent businesses from writing off bullshit. now you have to prove those expenses really happened.

  51. 51
    joe from Lowell says:

    Let’s not forget that this disastrously-failed smear job is part of the teabaggers’ efforts to push back against the NAACP.

    First, the Tea Party Express loser writes that disastrous letter.

    Second, the Tea Party Federation sets off a Civil War.

    Third, Andrew Breitbart screws up so badly that he discredits not only this story, but future efforts to smear the NAACP, as well as his famous ACORN sting.

    Fourth, the NAACP and Obama administration model how to behave when you’ve screwed up, drawing a very sharp contract with the wingnut media who keep trying and failing to find an angle to keep pushing the story.

    I think that people may be losing perspective on just how badly the NAACP has harmed the Tea Party movement and the right in general.

  52. 52
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @Amir_Khalid: lol.

    Or after barfing. “I refoodiated.”

  53. 53
    CanadaGoose says:

    “I don’t mean this to be all “Republicans are teh stupid”’

    No. Some are also evil.

  54. 54
    Tom Hilton says:

    @Ahasuerus: If the Onion logo didn’t tip them off, you’d think a few key phrases might have done it. Like “due to their enormous size and otherworldly strength”. Or the part where he says “should the event occur in an urban area…Jesus……………….um, that’s classified…far surpassing our darkest nightmares”.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    We have a little saying here at our public university – the only thing harder than getting into Harvard is flunking out.

    There are lots of ways to get into an Ivy, many of which require no merit. Graduating from one is trivial, however. Having an Ivy degree may mean you’re brilliant. May also mean you’re an idiot. Therefore it’s a measure of precisely nothing.

  56. 56
    stuckinred says:

    @flukebucket: Whoa! I’ve only been here 25 years! Going to see Santana at Chastain tomorrow, haven’t seen him in 41 years!

  57. 57
    Tom Hilton says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Third, Andrew Breitbart screws up so badly that he discredits not only this story, but future efforts to smear the NAACP, as well as his famous ACORN sting.

    I hope that’s the case, but I fear that it’ll actually just serve to discredit the idea of racism in general–which is the secondary objective of the whole thing.

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @Zifnab: As I routinely remind my young son, smart and educated are entirely different things. The former makes the latter easier, but isn’t a requirement for it. The latter say nothing about the former.

  59. 59
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Redshirt: I imagine he struck the foundation interviewers as about as close to Cecil Rhodes you’re likely to find this day and age and they waved him through.

  60. 60
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Joshua: Blues. Don’t forget the blues.

    My national educational standards:
    1. Scratch-bake a loaf of bread,
    2. Write and get printed a letter to the editor,
    3. Perform and sing a 12-bar blues of your own composition, instrument of your choice.

    Do all of that, and you are more than welcome to share my republic.

  61. 61
    Mark says:

    @Tom Hilton

    My dad works with a guy who’s a Rhodes Scholar and was at Oxford at the same time. The guy defends Vitter. Not identifying anyone, but both he and my dad are political aides to pretty much the most left-liberal governor out there.

    Incidentally, Canadian Rhodes Scholars are usually not as smart as American ones. There are five times as many per capita in Canada.

  62. 62
    flukebucket says:

    @cleek:

    Thanks cleek. That explains it. Can’t write off bullshit. It makes perfect sense to me now. I can understand now why they are raising so much hell about it.

    @stuckinred:

    I was a young hippie back when I frequented Athens. I am just an old hippie now.

  63. 63
    aimai says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    yes, but nothing says they can’t be perverts.

    aimai

  64. 64
    Hal says:

    Third, Andrew Breitbart screws up so badly that he discredits not only this story, but future efforts to smear the NAACP, as well as his famous ACORN sting.

    That depends on whether or not focus will be on Fox News, Breitbart and the Tea Party, or if the MSM, Faux News, and quite a few Progressives simply go after the White House and the NAACP for being dupes.

    I was reading Huffpo comments earlier today regarding this story, and it was pretty hilarious. Plenty of conservatives and tea baggers saying that Sherrod should sue Obama, and poor woman, behind thrown under the bus by Obama. Never mind they were probably some of the cheering masses thrilled at the definative proof of black racism.

    Oh, and OT, but did anyone else know that to block quote something, you just highlight it and hit the block quotes? It’s a series of TUBES!!!

  65. 65

    @DougJ:

    That’s not really fair. It’s all relative. For the average 18 year old college applicant, getting into a school like Harvard is certainly a great accomplishment compared to, say, making the varsity baseball team.

  66. 66
    David in NY says:

    You know, the real fuss about 1099’s will be from the businesses that receive them, not only the one’s that issue them. For businesses that get a 1099, that’s not income they can “forget” they received — they better include it as taxable income.

  67. 67
    licensed to kill time says:

    __

    typing random pile of crap trying to see if it works for blockquoting by highlighting then hitting blockquote holy shit yes it does

    @Hal: the tubes they blow my mind, Hal. grazi!

  68. 68
    stuckinred says:

    @flukebucket: You ain’t the only one dawg! A Pirate Looks at 61.

  69. 69
    someguy says:

    I don’t mean this to be all “Republicans are teh stupid” or “people without a lot of formal education are teh stupid”, I just find this kind of demographic data interesting and thought you might too.

    You don’t mean it to be that, but that’s what it means. Res ipsa loquitur.

  70. 70
    David in NY says:

    @DougJ:

    24 of the top 25 areas are in states that went for Obama in 2008

    OK, wise guy, since when did Georgia go for Obama? (Atlanta, no. 25, in addition to Austin). Moreover, if you just look at the data for cities (not metro areas), you get two in South Carolina, one in Utah, and about four others. Not so neat as you might think.

    ED: Still, I suppose 23 of 25, or even 18 of 25 is still a pretty strong Blue predominance.

  71. 71
    DC10 says:

    It’s always striking to hear so many people write/say things that reflect they have no idea (or they ignore) how many people work in the White House and how many thousands of employees there are in the various layers and branches of the Federal government that are located in separate buildings throughout the D.C. area and in the various states/regions of the U.S. If a Federal employee does anything that people don’t don’t like, it seems people are easily convinced that either the POTUS (or Rahm) were personally involved in the decision making or specifically approved of whatever it was, when Obama and Rahm likely have no idea who these employees are (except super high level ones) and know nothing about their actions unless they become a media controversy. The Repubs’ faux issue of “big government” has successfully made discussing the actual structure of the government (& chain of command) a big no-no, leaving people with the notion that the POTUS/CIC/”leader of the free world” would somehow be involved in the decision to fire an employee in Georgia working for the Department of Rural Development, which is just 1 of about 17 agencies under the Dept of Agriculture umbrella.

  72. 72
    flukebucket says:

    @stuckinred:

    Santana is 63 but I bet he sets the damn place ablaze tomorrow night. Have fun.

    @David in NY:

    You know, the real fuss about 1099’s will be from the businesses that receive them, not only the one’s that issue them. For businesses that get a 1099, that’s not income they can “forget” they received—they better include it as taxable income.

    But the purpose of the law is still not to destroy business but to make business more accountable. Is that right or wrong? Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

  73. 73
    Kevin Phillips Bong says:

    Anecdotally, I would not trust the three Hahvahd bodies who were in my Master’s program at USC to do much of anything well. But, since the degree was in the entertainment biz (so, no objective standards for anything) two of them are already pretty successful. Maybe I can start a knockoff degree mill with a name and logos so similar to Harvard that people think they’re the same.

  74. 74
    David in NY says:

    @flukebucket:

    Oh, I think that small business people should pay the taxes they owe, just like everyone else.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Cacti says:

    I think it’s less an issue of the “Republicans are teh stupid” than it is, the Republican Party has spent the past decade letting educated people know they are disliked by the GOP.

    Given that people tend to follow the path of least resistance, when educated marginally loyal Republicans were given a choice to try to swim against the tide and change the party from within, or just jump ship to the party that doesn’t sneer at educated people, many chose the latter.

  77. 77

    […] Balloon Juice links to a Brookings study that measures educational attainment by metropolitan area and notes that 24 out of 25 areas are in states that went for Obama in 2008. […]

  78. 78
    terry chay says:

    Not a fan of your observation, DougJ. The reason (beside the fact that it’s wrong, there are two metropolitans, not one), is that urban areas voted overwhelmingly for Obama that election cycle.

    Thanks for posting a link to the study, however. It was fun looking at the data (even though it’s highly skewed based on income and % urban/rural).

  79. 79
    Kered (formerly Derek) says:

    @Zifnab:

    Oh man, totally. EVERY doctor, it seems like. Didn’t they have to use computers in college and med school? Drives me nuts.

  80. 80
    droog says:

    Someone put ‘refudiate’ in the BJ lexicon.

  81. 81
    Calming Influence says:

    @Martin: Thank you sir! I am now even more educated.

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