Small thing: Conspiracy Theories and Education

February 06, 2021

From today (Sat Feb 6 2021)'s POLITICO "Playbook" morning newsletter:


As regards the idea that QAnon supporters are uneducated, we have this:

Our partners at Morning Consult have done some polling on this in a tracking poll. The most recent poll shows that people are actually more likely to believe claims made by QAnon are accurate the more educated they are. 

Twenty-seven percent of people with a postgraduate degree responded that QAnon claims are either very accurate or somewhat accurate. That compared to 20% of those with a bachelor’s degree and 14% of those with less than a college degree. The numbers were similar in Morning Consult’s October poll


Without disparaging the value of an education--on which I have bet not only my livelihood, but my entire sense of vocation in this troubly world--I want to say, glibly, anyone who has been in a faculty meeting and seen the nefarious and rococco intentions attributed to small administrative decisions from the Dean's office could have told you that being educated and being intelligent are two very different things, and that in particular the encounter with complicated disciplines of inquiry and theory, all of which (once you have imbibed them) do in fact alter the way you actually see the world--all of this would make for a very easy entry into conspiratorial thinking.

More deeply, I want to say this:

I love education--it is the true wealth of our world, I believe, and teachers (especially primary and secondary teachers, but college teachers too, to a lesser degree) are massively under-supported and under-funded, and a sane society would invest HUGE amounts in education, and the fact that we don't shows you how stupid we are--I love education, I do, I do I do, but please do not think that it will innoculate you from being a sucker, I have a lot of real estate, scattered across the world's wetlands, and I want to talk to you about investing.


More later--be well!