It's a duck pond.
Why aren't there any ducks?
I don't know. There's never any ducks.
Then how do you know it's a duck pond?
Sunday, October 12
Apparently, the fashion among young women to wear very (sometimes very) low-cut pants is all GWB's fault. All that and a Right Wing Death Beast too!
Saturday, October 11
The Rugby World Cup kicks off in Sydney this evening, so things around here are a bit...
Well, normal. Except for a greater than usual number of people sporting bright yellow hair, if you didn't know the World Cup was on, you wouldn't... Know it was on.
Carn' the [Who's our side, again? The Wallabies. — Ed.] Carn' the Wobblies!
Friday, October 10
Via Silflay Hraka, this:
But that's because you're a moron, easily distracted by sparkly lights and shiny objects. You were really voting to let small, inherently undemocratic groups run your state all the time, forever. The fact that you thought you were doing the former when in fact you were doing the latter suggests that you would have been more helpful in the governance of your state by hurling yourself off the Golden Gate Bridge and smacking into the bay below with a nice, bone-powdering swack. In addition to clearing out four million bottom-feeders from an already-overpopulated state, California might still have a government still nominally beholden to voters, instead of through special-interest control by mob rule proxy.Which would be a fine rant, if the writer weren't, y'know, an
Tell me again how Gray Davis was our last bastion against the pernicious influence of special-interest groups?
Meanwhile, closer to (my) home, Tim Blair points us to this:
I sometimes think that people should be obliged to pass an examination in economics, history, geography, social science, current affairs and politics in order to earn the right to vote. Nothing against our friend Arnie, of course, who is a very worthy gentleman and probably not guilty of all the scurrilous things of which he has been accused. Yes, a minimum 50 per cent pass in the afore-mentioned subjects should be required for anyone to be given the title voter.A thoroughgoing sleazebag has been booted from office after a budget blowout of mind-boggling proportions? Must be because the voters are idiots.
At least it's nice to see a couple of lefties with a basic grasp of spelling and grammar for a change.
Thursday, October 09
Surprisingly enough* many California Democrats want to recall Governor Arnold. Well, hey, it's your constitutional right to try.
But is there just a touch of hypocrisy here given that just one day ago the whole idea of a recall was "anti-democratic"? Guess things look different when you lose.**
You'd think that a party named Democrat would be in favour of democracy, wouldn't you? Truth in Advertising brings you the Democrat Only When It Suits Us And To Hell With Consistency Party.
Don't mind me, I'm just gloating. I don't know if Arnold will make a good governor. I'm just happy to see the liberals get kicked where it hurts... Wherever that might be, since they don't have any.
* That is, not surprising at all.
Wednesday, October 08
Yep, looks like.
Steven Den Beste deconstructs the Tranzis - with a chainsaw.
Worth a read, as he does a good job of explaining why the Tranzis think the way they do. Yes, it's because they're idiots, but he explains the idiot-logic that leads to the Tranzi position, step by horrible step.
Tuesday, October 07
This has been around for some time now, but I don't seem to have linked to it before. It's a truly wonderful study that brings to light something we all know: Idiots are not aware that they are idiots.
People tend to hold overly favorable views of their abilities in many social and intellectual domains. The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it. Across 4 studies, the authors found that participants scoring in the bottom quartile on tests of humor, grammar, and logic grossly overestimated their test performance and ability. Although their test scores put them in the 12th percentile, they estimated themselves to be in the 62nd. Several analyses linked this miscalibration to deficits in metacognitive skill, or the capacity to distinguish accuracy from error. Paradoxically, improving the skills of participants, and thus increasing their metacognitive competence, helped them recognize the limitations of their abilities.
Or, to use the vernacular:
Moind's Fourth PostulateI was working this into a more substantial essay I called The State of the World, but after a while I realised that if you want to read Steven Den Beste, you know where to find him. I'll stick to the clever comments for now, and leave the essays to the Den Bestes and the Whittles.
The degree of certainty in one's level of competency is inversely proportional to the actual level.
1. The hopelessly incompetent are absolutely certain of their abilities.
2. The competent always have sensible doubts, precisely for the reason that they can realistically assess the situation.
3. The incompetent never realize they are incompetent, precisely for the reason that they lack the competence necessary to discern the difference.
4. The work of the incompetent tends to be superficial and bombastic. By extension of Corollary 3, they are completely unaware of this and usually regard their work as profound and important. The converse also tends to be true: those who regard their work as profound and important usually have an unrealistic appreciation of their abilities (or lack thereof).
5. The incompetent tend to hire people like themselves, since, for obvious reasons, they do not find their own kind threatening. Moreover, they usually confuse the sensible doubts of the competent (see Corollary 2) with a bad attitude, and the overconfidence of the incompetent (see Corollary 4) with great promise.
6. The competent are only tolerated because they are needed to perform all the necessary tasks that the incompetent regard as beneath them, but which are, in reality, beyond their ability.
7. The truly gifted don't even think about any of this. They just do their thing. The converse, however, is far from true.
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