Monday, July 02, 2007

Australian idiocracy: Ninemsn polls

One of the more obvious signs that the idiots are taking over the asylum is the increasing tendency to confuse fact with opinion, as the current NineMSN poll shown above demonstrates. If you can't make it out, it reads: "Are young Australian Muslims vulnerable to being radicalised?" As the focus of a research paper or conference it makes perfect sense: there's a problem to be investigated, data to be collected, arguments to be advanced and results to be subjected to the scrutiny of one's peers. But what light can be shed on this topic by the kneejerk response of your average punter signing out of Hotmail? If the answer is "none," then what purpose is served by such a poll in the first place? They might as well have a poll on whether Europa features a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust.

This reminds me of former Education Minister Brendan Nelson's flirtation with the teaching of intelligent design in schools, on the grounds that "it should be taught in schools alongside evolution if that is the wish of parents." In other words, in 2005 the Federal Government believed that the religious opinions of parents should determine what gets taught as fact in a science classroom. Welcome to idiocracy.