In his ongoing series of fascinating NYT
essays on the "influence and uses of photography," documentary filmmaker Errol Morris interviews David Dunning, co-author of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which says stupid people are too stupid to realize they are stupid.
Morris opens his piece with the story of attempted bank robber MacArthur Wheeler, who rubbed lemon juice on his face before entering the bank because he believed it would render him invisible to security cameras. "If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber," writes Morris, "perhaps he was also too stupid to know that he was too stupid to be a bank robber – that is, his stupidity protected him from an awareness of his own stupidity."
DAVID DUNNING: Well, my specialty is decision-making. How well do people make the decisions they have to make in life? And I became very interested in judgments about the self, simply because, well, people tend to say things, whether it be in everyday life or in the lab, that just couldn’t possibly be true. And I became fascinated with that. Not just that people said these positive things about themselves, but they really, really believed them. Which led to my observation: if you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent.
The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is (Part 1)
ERROL MORRIS: Why not?
DAVID DUNNING: If you knew it, you’d say, “Wait a minute. The decision I just made does not make much sense. I had better go and get some independent advice.” But when you’re incompetent, the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is. In logical reasoning, in parenting, in management, problem solving, the skills you use to produce the right answer are exactly the same skills you use to evaluate the answer. And so we went on to see if this could possibly be true in many other areas. And to our astonishment, it was very, very true.
When occult historian Mitch Horowitz’s excellent 2009 book Occult America was published, he received a phone call from an admiring fan: Stephen K. Bannon. Over at Salon, Mitch writes about the right wing’s weird connection to New Age mysticism: (Bannon) professed deep interest in the book’s themes, and encouraged me in my next work, “One […]
Japan-based food vloggers Simon and Martina try the only Frappuccino drink that comes with its own pie crust lid.
A couple days ago, a woman and her son on a walk near their home in Tonopah, Arizona found a very strange and deep concrete-lined hole. A representative from the American Pump and Well Service Repair said it doesn’t appear to be a well. Local news 3TV dropped a camera into the hole, and at […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]
Yeah, Bluetooth audio is pretty common these days, so why should you care about these earbuds? Look how happy that woman up above looks. She’s got FRESHeBUDS in. Boom. There’s your reason. She’s also at the beach and it appears to be a very nice day.But for the sake of promotion, wireless earbuds are fast becoming the […]