Friday, March 18, 2016

Engineers of Jihad

A new book that analyzes the educational background of known Islamic terrorists finds that of those who went to college, nearly half studied engineering. The authors don't think this is random. Engineers, they note,
are present in groups in which social scientists, humanities graduates, and women are absent
and they share certain psychological traits with terrorists:
proneness to disgust, need for closure, in-group bias, and (at least tentatively) simplism
I'm not sure what "simplism" is, but it sounds bad.

I don't know how seriously to take this. I can imagine a very fastidious, sexually uncomfortable man being drawn to engineering or Islamic fundamentalism, but is that just a stereotype or is there more to it? I have also read that Islamic terrorists are quite diverse.

I remember reading once that doctors were very prominent among Latin American revolutionaries, and I never really knew what to make of that, either.

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