Friday, May 03, 2013

Here's a New One

Came across the term "Dunning-Kruger Effect" this morning whilst looking something up online. Normally, I wouldn't have been up so early, but the guy who came to mark the utility lines for the upcoming fence replacement showed up at the crack of dawn, so there I was ...

Um. Anyway, the DK Effect refers to the notion that Ron White's comedy show of a few years back addresses: You can't fix stupid. (And the DK Effect says, more or less, the problem is because stupid people are too stupid to know they are stupid ...)

Well, not exactly. What it points out is that there is a cognitive bias wherein people suffer from illusionary superiority in which they rate themselves above average when in fact they are not.

Darwin's line: "Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge."

The protocols for the theory come from test-taking, in which people with the highest scores sometimes underrated themselves, while those with the lowest scores thought they did much better than they actually did. 

And how did I happen upon this lovely term? 

Recently the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc., an organization to which I have belonged for thirty-some odd years, had elections. One of the people running for President was Steven Gould, who, it was announced today, won in what is termed "a landslide."

The term "landslide" is seldom used in SFWA elections, in which voter turnout is generally in the low hundreds and the winner sometimes does that by a handful of votes.

Apparently the reason Gould won so handily was because his opponent was one Theodore Beale, a man who, if one can believe anything on the internet, has some extreme positions on various and sundry things. He sometimes writes under a pseudonym, "Vox Day," and has, according to the wiki, been a game designer and musician.

Whoever wrote the Rationalwiki seems to think the guy is a loon, unless his tongue is so firmly placed in his cheek as to require Superman to remove it:

Some quotes from that wiki, regarding Beale: 


Some of his most brilliant insights are to be found on Vox Popoli or in The Irrational Atheist. On homosexuality, he says:
Homosexuality is a birth defect from every relevant secular, material, and sociological perspective...[we must] help them achieve sexual normality.[14]
On Muslims and Brits:
You silly English twit. Limit your historically ignorant, politically correct, socialist sensitivity concerns to Londonistan and the rest of your island.[15]
His refutation of atheism:
[I]mpaired social cognition... is the hallmark of the militant New Atheists. [T]he anti-religious socially autistic crusaders... simply cannot understand that your religious beliefs, whatever they might be, are no legitimate concern of theirs.[16] High Church atheism may be little more than a mental disorder taking the form of literal autism.[17]
On race and intelligence:
It is absurd to imagine that there is absolutely no link between race and intelligence.[18]
On how to bring peace to the Middle East:
The Israeli government must announce to the world a unilateral ceasefire, balanced by the deadly promise that for every Israeli soldier killed, 25 Palestinian police will die. For every civilian, 100 non-combatant Palestinian adults will be slain, and for every child, 1000 adults.[19]
And perhaps most horrifically, on women:
Because they are the intellectual driving force of humanity, men will be fine... It is written that women ruin everything.[8]
First, there is no such thing as marital rape. Once consent is formally given in public ceremony, it cannot be revoked.
. . . If a woman believes in the concept of marital rape, absolutely do not marry her![20

Oh, my, oh, my. I wonder why he lost the election?


The European Historical Combat Guild said...

Sounds like a truly inspiring example of the human race... :-/

Dave Huss said...

Hi there Steve,
A writer whos blog and work that I follow, the currently outgoing presedent of the SFWA has had a weird longstanding rtelationship with Mr. Beale. Don't know how familer you are with Mr. Scalzi and his blog and work, but I have met him a couple of times at cons and lived near in the midwest. A long and interesting story.

Kris said...

Ha, I was going to post the same Scalzi link. Yeah, his lunacy goes way back.