Huntsman Post

Professor Diana Thomas Has Created a Series of Innovative Teaching Videos

Professor Diana Thomas worked with the Institute for Humane Studies recently to create four innovative, highly graphic, short videos that illustrate some intriguing ideas in her field of research, public choice. The videos are free online as part of the Learn Liberty series, with the goal of offering a “starting point for conversations on important questions.”

In a video called, “How to Rig a Majority Vote,” she explains “Condorcet’s Paradox” which illustrates how a person with the power to set the order of primary votes can exercise power over the voting outcome. 

One of her videos explains, using the example of sugar, why small concentrated groups of producers often have more political influence than large groups of dispersed consumers. Dr. Thomas argues that Coca-Cola is made with corn syrup partly because of the subsidies and protection the sugar lobby has been able to secure for sugar farmers and refiners.

In another video, she explains why it is rational to be ignorant about politics. Because one vote almost never decides an election, the benefits of being an informed voter are essentially zero, she maintains. The cost of staying informed, on the other hand, can be significant. As a result, it is rational to be ignorant about politics, she says.

You can find a list of all of her videos here. Dr. Thomas is currently also teaching three short online courses on similar topics as part of the Learn Liberty Academy Program. You can sign up for these free programs on the learn Liberty Academy website.

Learn Liberty Video Series Titles