March 19, 2012

Well, 1) It's science, and 2)...

...It validates one of my preconceived notions: THEREFORE, it must be true.

So, what prompts this sudden return from hibernation?

Finding out there is an actual name for the theory I have long espoused on this blog, namely, "It's not the stupid people who're the problem, it's the people who think they're smart."

Yep, it seems that I'm not the only one who's noticed this, and the someones who did notice are all full of psychological booklearning, therefore what they say must be completely and absolutely true.

I was cruising by Ace of Spades HQ today, and saw this interesting post talking about this exact topic, and it sent me to this article about something called the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

As best as I can tell, the stupider people are (and oddly enough, Americans in particular), the more likely they are to think they are the sharpest hammer in the toolbox.

People who actually are smart seem to understand a bit better just how stinkin' little they actually do know in the greater scheme of things, and are more likely to admit they don't know something, shut up when they're out of their element, and not try to tell everyone else how to run their bidness.

Ace's co-blogger rdbrewer notes several corollaries to this idea, and they all pretty much describe the sorts of people who alternately irritate and scare the crap out of me. And who seem, at least if voting preferences are any indication, to make up about half the population.

Which is pretty danged disheartening.

My solution? Not sure, but I'm thinking that I make up a fictional country, and start telling everyone that NO ONE can come in without special permission. All the forward-leaning smartypants types who can't stand being left out of anything will all clamor to get in, or else they'll issue a fatwa or UN resolution or boycott or whatever. Then I'll relent and tell them they can come in after all, and I'll reluctantly point them to a big door that says Stay Out (which will make them even more eager to go in), and on the other side will be a million hungry tigers and crocodiles with chainsaws. I figure about midway through the line, people will start to think it's maybe not the best idea to go in, and so I'll jump up and slam the door and tell them "NO! NO MORE!!" They'll shove me aside, of course, and the rest of them will go charging on in.

The only problem I see is not having enough hungry tigers and crocodiles, and keeping the chainsaws fueled up. I might have some of those nice electric ones--maybe even plug them into one of those big wind turbines or something, just to be ecologically-minded.

[UPDATE 4-17-12--The Return of Dunning-Kruger!]

Posted by Terry Oglesby at 08:36 PM | Comments (17)