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.
Janelle Shane trained a recurrent neural network with a data-set of more than 2000 ancient proverbs and asked it to think up its own: “A fox smells it better than a fool’s for a day.”
L.A.-based filmmaker David Lewandowski is back with a new (and much anticipated) video titled, “time for sushi.” I’m not going to pretend I get it but if it touches you as much as it did me, head over to goingtothe.store. That’s where you’ll find memorabilia inspired by his YouTube channel, including a $90,000 chessboard made […]
Fishermen in the North Sea near the Nethelands caught the first two-headed porpoises ever documented. The trawler crew found the animal already dead in its nets. From Deinsea, the journal of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam: “The crew of the fishing vessel thought it would be illegal to keep the dead porpoise and they threw […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]