blueollie

A Proud American Tradition: The Crank

I was a bit amused to read Sandwalk’s blog post about Michele Bachmann. I have one quibble with his post: Ms. Bachmann might not be “lying”; she is probably saying what she honestly believes is true; it is an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

And, to be blunt, she accurately represents a large segment of the United States in that respect. To convince yourself of that, just scroll through the social media sites (e. g. twitter, facebook and the like). You’ll see pages and pages of people with no credentials whatsoever just letting “the experts” have it: climate change denialists creationists (from the right) and GMO opponents and homeopathy advocates (mostly from the left) just giving those scientists a “piece of their mind” (not that they have an extra to give… :-) )

People who barely have a freshman economics course under their belts “correct” Nobel laureate economists on their “elementary mistakes”. People who work in produce departments in grocery stores “teach” classes on the Constitution.

Activists (of all stripes) don’t get advice and instruction from credentialed experts; they GIVE IT to them!

Unfortunately the media doesn’t help matters much; all too often they rush stories of, say, scientific findings before they have been rigorously reviewed, or the “journalists” are unaware of what an honestly obtained “false positive” is. Hence, too many articles with headlines such as “SCIENTISTS PROVE ……” turn out to be false alarms.

Oh well…life goes on.

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March 22, 2013 - Posted by | morons, science, social/political | ,

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