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View Diary: WI-Gov: Scott Walker takes leads, but sits right at the 50% mark (275 comments)

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  •  That's not true (0+ / 0-)

    If liberals are better at getting the next generation to match their ideology than conservatives are, they'll outnumber them in the next generation.

    Imagine a group of people in Generation 1. 50 are conservative, 50 are liberal. The conservatives contribute 150 children to the next generation, the liberals contribute 50.

    Further assume that 55% of the children of conservatives turn out to be conservative. That means Generation 2 will have 82 conservatives born of conservative parents and 68 liberals. Assume liberals are good, but not perfect, at getting their kids to turn out liberal, and only lose 10% to the dark side. That means 45 children of liberal parents are liberal, and 5 are conservative.

    That brings the total of liberals in Generation 2 to 113 and the conservatives to 87. Liberals went from being even in Generation 1 to a twelve point advantage in Generation 2, despite being outbred 3 to 1.

    •  Your post contains the unsupported (0+ / 0-)

      assertion that the rate of liberal parents spawning conservative offspring is far less than the rate of conservative parents spawning liberal offspring.  That's data that you just made up.

      I understand math very well and understand that if the rate of conservative loss between generations is many times higher than the rate of liberal loss between generations that it can more than compensate for a larger conservative birth rate.  But  that assertion is hard for me to believe without being backed up by facts.

      In other words, your math is spot on.  But your givens you started from I find rather dodgy.

      •  I was making a mathematical argument (0+ / 0-)

        To rebut your mathematical claim. Not making a sociological argument.

        You asserted that the important fact was that conservatives produce many more offspring than liberals.My point is that the rate at which conservatives produce offspring is meaningless unless you take into account the rates of conversion from liberal to conservative and vice versa.

        •  You added a new given (0+ / 0-)

          that was far out of line with a reasonable assumption.  You're right that I never mentioned it.  For the same reason I didn't mention "ooh but what if conservatives tend to die at 5 times the rate liberals do?"  Because it's not a reasonable assumption to make out of thin air.

          If you think it's acceptable to make up givens out of thin air, and I had to respond to all of them ahead of time that someone might make up, then no analysis would ever be possible, period.

          •  Your claim (0+ / 0-)

            Your argument was that if conservatives outbred liberals, and that if a majority of conservatives' children were conservative themselves, then subsequent generations will be majority conservative.

            My argument was that your conclusion did not follow from your premises. This argument involved constructing a hypothetical scenario in which your premises were true, but your conclusion false.

            •  Which required making up pretty ludicrous (0+ / 0-)

              givens.  The only reason I didn't mention every given is that I don't have infinite amount of time.  It's pretty silly to expect me to have to explicitly mention "all else being within reasonable bounds" as if that was somehow not understood.  You know what else would have been a problem?  If millions of snakes poisoned conservatives making them die young.  But that's not going to happen.  I could just as easily rip into your example by making up unreasonable givens for situations you never mentioned explicitly, making what you said false.

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