Business Ethics

Apparently, I’m not the only one to hold the ethics of business school graduates in low regard.  At graduation today, each Dean was trying to outdo the others in proclaiming how great their college is.  The Business school Dean made the mistake of emphasizing the ethics of the graduating class.  I don’t think that was supposed to be a laugh line, but it drew a good chuckle throughout the RBC Center.   And, just to establish the basis in reality here:

A study conducted by a Rutgers University professor revealed students enrolled in business programs across the nation report higher levels of cheating than students in other fields of study.

Abandoned Yugoslavian monuments

Heard about these via Slate’s Political Gabfest.  David Plotz said they looked like what he imagined an alien civilization would leave behind after conquering earth.  I think that actually sums it up pretty well– bizarre and amazing architecture/sculpture.  This one is my favorite below, but check them all out.

Marriage and PID

It’s probably not all that surprising that people tend to marry other persons of similar political persuasion.  Certainly to me (and surely many others), politics are about values and I suspect most of us want to marry someone we think shares our values.  I cannot imagine in the least being married to someone who thought it was more important to have lower marginal tax rates for the richest Americans than it was to provide medical care for poor children.  As it happens, most all the couples I know share partisanship.  Of course, a lot of this also comes from sharing similar backgrounds, of which partisanship is strongly correlated.  I can seem two relatively apolitical people of somewhat different political views being married, but I do wonder about making a marriage work in which core political values are in opposition.  Anyway, by way of that long introduction, there’s some new research from John Hibbing and friends (the people who make the strong argument for the genetic basis of ideology based on twin studies) about the role of marriage and partisanship.

The gulf between Democrats and Republicans isn’t just between red states and blue states; a new study finds that people tend to marry within their own political party — potentially widening the gulf between liberals and conservatives.

In fact, spouses are more likely to be similar politically than they are likely to have matching personalities, according to the new research, which will be published in the Journal of Politics.

Surprisingly, personality “doesn’t seem as important to us as our notions of how other people should behave and the way society should be structured,” said study author John Hibbing, a political scientist at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. [Read: Rising Rancor: One Nation, Divisible By Politics]

Opposites don’t attract

Earlier work has shown that people tend to sort themselves into likeminded neighborhoods and workplaces, Hibbing told LiveScience. What was interesting about the new study, he said, was the finding that couples came into their relationships already matched on political beliefs. Folk wisdom often holds that mates become more and more similar as they go through life together, either because they share experiences or because they influence each other’s beliefs. But in reality, people seem to be sorting themselves out by ideology, Hibbing said.

Again, not all that surprised.  No way would I get past a first date with somebody who was a fan of Sarah Palin or Sean Hannity.  It really is about values.  But personalities don’t have to match in the same way.  I’m quite the extrovert and my wife is quite the introvert– there’s occasional friction over that, but generally not a problem.  If she starts saying we cannot raise the debt ceiling, then there’s some marital conflict coming :-).

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