A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: What use is maths?
Previous entry: Asking Alex about internships in the City
Tuesday February 19 2008

It has long been know that academia is biased towards the left.  But why? Is it because lefties perpetuate themselves and viciously exclude non-lefties?  Or is it because non-lefties exclude themselves, because they want early families, and lots of money whether they want early families or not, and hence better paid jobs than they are likely to get at all soon (if ever) in academia?

Here looks like a good place to start looking for answers to such questions.

I have long suspected that libertarianism of my sort is a variety of non-leftism that has the property that it appeals to the academic temperament - abstract, intellectual, ideological, simplified to the point (in some mouths) of being simplistic.  Academically talented libertarians don’t seem to have any problem making academic progress, provided only that they want to.

Meanwhile, I have known many libertarians who vehemently believed in money-making, but who had no particular talent for it.  I am one such.  My Libertarian Alliance boss/colleague the late Chris Tame was another.

And then what about this guy? He has written very successfully about science, but then did a career switch.  He got himself into a position to make lashings of money.  Instead, despite disbelieving vehemently in nationalisation, he ended up losing lashings of (other people’s) money and being a part of the biggest British nationalisation for several decades.  But maybe he illustrates something else entirely, namely the tendency of old Etonians to get swank jobs regardless of whether they will do them brilliantly or well or badly or catastrophically.