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  • The Skill Set of a President

       December 06, 2007

    Jonathan Adler at Volokh posted an excerpt of an article by Laurence Krauss from today's Wall Street Journal. In the article, Krauss asks how scientifically literate Presidential candidates should be. The question prompted a lively debate in the Volokh comments section. One commenter, "DiverDan" posted a laundry list of topics a President should have a working knowledge of, including, but not limited to: the scientific method, the laws of thermodynamics, Einstein's general and special theory of relativity, the basics of how elements can combine to form compounds, cell differentiation in multicell organisms, be familiar with the logical fallacies, such as post hoc, ergo propter hoc and understand Euclidean geometry.

    Coincidently, I also posted a link to a Popular Mechanics article that details the "25 Skills Every Man Should Know". Among the 25 skills: building a campfire, sharpening a knife, navigating with a map and compass, backing up data, performing CPR and changing a car's oil and filter.

    My question is, if you had to choose one list, would you rather the next President know what's on DiverDan's science list or would you rather that they've mastered the 25 skills on Popular Mechanics' list?

    Our next President should...
    have DiverDan's required math and science knowledge
    be able to perform Popular Mechanics' 25 skills
  free polls

    Posted by at December 6, 2007 03:39 PM

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    #  December 7th, 2007 12:52 PM      Squibbly
    I think he should be an "everyman." There should be some sort of happy medium between both lists, though I think that as I was looking at both lists, I thought I would want the President to know and be able to do more of the things on the PM list. Mostly because they seem to be a bit more common sense oriented and practical. Thats something that our government is definitely lacking. I think there are plenty of intellectuals out there, but without common sense, they write legislation that is unenforceable and pointless. Sometimes I wish there was a common sense party.  



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