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On Cognitive Dissonance

From your local college Republicans:

The whole “Obama = communism” thing is a little stale (George Bush not exactly being the paragon of fiscal restraint and all), but it is funny to see vapid college kids get sent through the ringer.

P.S. Be on the lookout for ASUO Vice President Johnny Delashaw (he of the dirty mustache), who has probably the most awesome spot in the video.

  1. Betz says:


  2. Timothy says:

    It’s also hard to believe McCain or anyone else would’ve done anything differently in this latest mess.

    I’m also pretty sure Obama’s never going to starve 20 million Ukranians.

  3. Niedermeyer says:

    Is this 1983? Why the red scare?


    Criticize the policies you disagree with in a cogent manner, don’t just say “Obama’s a commie, ooga-booga.” Making Obama the symbol of wealth redistribution simply plays into the hand of the Republican party which did more in the last 8 years to “destroy capitalism” than Obama has even had the chance to do.

  4. Lee says:

    Is this 1983? Why the red scare?

  5. Vincent says:

    grades are a poor metric of intelligence/work ethic/success

    They may be a poor metric of intellect, but I think they do a rather good job of gauging work ethic and success. If you get an “F” in a class, it’s a fairly good indication that you a) never showed up b) didn’t do any of the assigned reading/work c) were simply not capable of handling the material. Likewise, an “A” is usually a good sign that you fulfilled the expectations of the class and applied yourself, even minimally.

    Standards these days aren’t high, and I’d argue that low grades are more revealing than high grades, but to argue that they’re meaningless and reveal very little kind of misses the point — if you can’t even pull a “B” in a class, maybe you’re not cut out for the field.

    Some argue (especially in CS) that they don’t do well in a “structured environment” like the classroom and really shine while they’re doing their own reading/coding/whatever at home. That’s super, but unfortunately even for programmers, most jobs you’ll have in the real world usually require the ability to meet deadlines, work with others, follow directions from superiors, etc. If you’re getting bad grades because you can’t handle doing boring, minor tasks, that’s also a good indicator for a prospective employer that you’re not going to be a particularly good addition to the team, since, surprisingly enough, most jobs require an awful lot of boring, mundane taskwork.

  6. Vincent says:

    The “inherited wealth” argument is a red herring. Wealth redistribution affects people who’ve worked hard to build up their money just as much (if not more so) than the relatively small subset of inheritors.

  7. Josh M. says:

    Ha ha…

  8. Betz says:

    I think Scott had it right in deconstructing the GPA-distribution argument in that GPA is not continuous, and wealth is: Some people simply inherit wealth, while others don’t. It’s not the case that when you enroll in a university program that some people have a 4.gazillion gpa, while others enroll with a 3.2, while others may have a 1.4 Gpa.

    In my experience, I have yet to see an interviewer that pays attention to what GPA you earned. This may be true for lib. arts and business majors, but in my degree field (comp. sci.), employers are more interested in how well you handle a technical exam. I will grant you some merit, because some employers care about honors-mentions: cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude, which are an indicator of a high GPA; but I think you and I both agree that grades are a poor metric of intelligence/work ethic/success for the reasons mentioned earlier.

  9. Sean says:

    You could also argue that there are some people get money for free (or close to free) or have it off really easy. Some jobs are harder than others, but don’t earn more money.
    And no, the piece of paper is not the only thing that matters. Some interviewers do look at GPA.

  10. Matt says:

    I don’t know, I just don’t think this argument is really working. I suppose we’ll see.

    Granted, the whole “Obama = Communism” argument might be getting some traction simply because at its core there is a validity, namely that if Obama actually were = Communism, it would be reasonable for the cause of liberty to object to that. I mean, keeping the Federal government small and taxes low is a far more persuasive objective than fighting the “coming fag-storm” or “illeegals are takin’ mah jahb!”

    The problem is that Obama and most Democrats are against communism too. I know I am. Why Republicans don’t seem to prevail with this argument is two-fold, I think: first, many Americans do in fact feel a deficit is currently justified, and second, an overwhelming number of Americans aren’t at all happy with the kind of fiscal discipline demonstrated by Republicans.

    I think they therefore find it way easier to support Democrats and try to move the ideology of that party toward more real libertarianism as opposed to hanging in there with the remaining Republicans. And I feel like that movement to make Democrats more libertarian has been going on long before Obama, with a fiscal conservativism emerging in the Democratic party in the early 90s. I think right now it could be way easier to convince Democrats to embrace libertarianism than it is to make Republicans turn coherent – or at least sane – again.

  11. Kenny says:

    Hey Scott, that’s why I would favor a flat tax or a fair tax.

  12. Sakaki says:

    It’s a very simple idea:

    Don’t steal. Wealth redistribution is stealing.

    Occam’s Razor.

  13. Scott says:

    Nice try, with that music you almost had me convinced… your argument is good conversation but a weak analogy. Unlike GPA, money is on a continuous scale which is why the disparities are so large. For me the continuous/fixed scale thing pretty much confuses your comparison beyond the point of even talking about. That said, I look forward to you guys getting riled up about the GPA earnings cap that is so detrimental to innovation.

    “It would be irresponsible to penalize those that work hard” you say?

    Yeah, that’s true. It would be irresponsible to penalize those who work hard, say for example, with a tax structure that favors people who have a lot of money and influence.

  14. Betz says:

    I don’t disagree completely with Horatio that the GPA-distribution system is kind of retarded … but on the other hand, GPA (and for that matter, grades themselves) are a poor metric that is used to reflect a student’s effort/intelligence/merit of achievement …. pretty much, a good student. This is why teacher’s have been clamoring against standardized testing as a measure of a student’s intelligence (and consequently, the measure of a student’s success, and also, as a measure of the teacher’s salary!) for years.

    I agree, grades are BS measures anyways … does my A in “differential equations with 2nd order coefficients” count the same as your A in “underwater basket-weaving”, or “Led Zeppelin” appreciation? (These were REAL classes when my dad went to the UO, and I suspect may still be college courses). If someone in Yale gets a B- in PolySci 101, does it count the same as an A in Polysci 101 at the UO? Sure seems like it, because some college courses are designated “harder” than others amongst differing universities, and so receive more credit for it than their “easier” counterparts.

    Grades are the cosmic joke of a college student’s life … we try so hard to get good / decent grades all of lives (I know I have just about knocked myself out trying to get A’s and B’s my last year), just to get a piece of paper that says I am somehow better or more qualified than everyone else without a piece of paper. Nobody looks at your Gpa outside of college… just whether or not you have this little piece of paper.

  15. Kenny says:

    Well said Sean!

  16. Josh M. says:

    Boom, roasted.

  17. Sean says:

    Neither are grades. Why is it fair that you get a 3.9 but I get a 3.4? I worked just as hard as you. People don’t get grades necessarily just by working harder. I have friends that try harder than me and still only get Cs while I get As.
    Besides, teachers will agree that grades are NOT to reward effort, but merit and achievement. Why are grades such a higher, clear standard than money? Each teacher grades differently, but they all somehow translate to the same metric, just like money.

  18. Horatio says:

    The GPA re-distribution argument is retarded. The wealth re-distribution argument is also retarded. But the GPA one is more retarded because people can theoretically control their GPAs by working hard. People don’t necessarily make money by working hard. Doing certain tasks doesn’t necessarily guarantee you any amount of money. Making money, while probably correlated to hard work, is by no means a product of following certain clear standards. So your argument, while nice on the surface, is actually not good when you dig deeper…

    The best argument against re-distribution of wealth is that it’s simply not fair.

  19. Johnny Delashaw says:

    Does anyone know what steps I have to take to legally change my name to “He of the Dirty Mustache”?

  20. Timothy says:

    Oh Communism Guy! I wonder why he hates Ukrainians so much?

  21. Kenny says:

    The first is Fanfare for the Commonwealth- Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
    then Echoes- Pink Floyd
    I had so much fun making this video

  22. Vincent says:

    It’s “Echoes” by Pink Floyd.

  23. Vincent says:

    I’m sure they were just getting footage for the next Soul Plane installment.

  24. Sakaki says:

    It was a flyby approved by the Obama White House. Which just flippin’ adds to the anger.

    Go see Ace of Spades for more info.

  25. nike urbanism duk says:

    While you guys are commie bashing there is a good video circulating on Youtube. It is of Air Force One and everyone on board was so stoned they decided to do a fly by/ photo op. near the statue of liberty with a F-16 flying next to them. This had the effect of terrorizing most of NYC and led to the evacuations of many large buildings. Must have been some really good shit. I bet the plane was fogged up inside like that low-rider car in Up in Smoke.

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