September 7, 2008

College presidents vs. the government and MADD.

I have to say, this is one of the most surprising articles in news that I've read in quite some time:

"In a bold challenge to the decades-old status quo, 129 college presidents have signed a statement calling on elected officials 'to support an informed and dispassionate public debate over the effects of the 21-year-old drinking age.'"

"John McCardell, president emeritus of Middlebury College in Vermont, organized the initiative. Eight presidents helped draft the statement this summer, and the group then invited presidents of all four-year colleges and universities to sign on. He says he'd like to see alternatives considered, such as a license to allow drinking by 18-year-olds who have graduated from high school and have obeyed alcohol laws."

"McCardell acknowledges he can't point to as many studies as MADD does. But the role of a debate is to scrutinize information, he says: 'Anytime somebody tells you that science is entirely on one side of a question, that ought to send up a red flag.' While 15- and 16-year-olds in many European countries with a drinking age of 18 or younger drink more often than their US peers, they have fewer dangerous occasions of intoxication."

I can't say much more than what's in the article already, but I do know that statistics are useless:

"With an average of 4.7 million viewers, the premiere of the second season of 'The Hills' was the most watched program across all of TV for viewers aged 12 to 34 and the highest rated cable telecast of 2008."

People are stupid, and stupid people configure stupid statistics.

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