Stupid Study Unearthed

You may know that I like to refer to a study that showed how stupid people not only don't know how stupid they are, but that they actually think they're smarter than smart people.

Well, I started going through old emails, and I'm astonished and pleased at what I'm finding, not the least of which is this article on the study of idiots.

They found that subjects who scored in the lowest quartile on tests of logic, English grammar and humor were also the most likely to “grossly overestimate'' how well they had performed.

The following reminded me of the day my friend had me read some of his students' compositions…

Unlike unskilled counterparts, the most able subjects in the study, Kruger and Dunning found, were likely to underestimate their competence (but) When high-scoring subjects were asked to “grade'' the grammar tests of their peers, however, they quickly revised their evaluations of their own performance. In contrast, the self-assessments of those who scored badly themselves were unaffected by the experience of grading others; some subjects even further inflated their estimates of their own abilities.

And in one of the early sentences in the article from 1/18/2000, the writer, Erica Goode even anticipated Obama:

"People who do things badly, Dunning has found in studies conducted with a graduate student, Justin Kruger, are usually supremely confident of their abilities — more confident, in fact, than people who do things well. People who do things badly, Dunning has found in studies conducted with a graduate student, Justin Kruger, are usually supremely confident of their abilities — more confident, in fact, than people who do things well.

And here's the biggest unmentioned problem with the study's findings: one might be inclined to feel sorry for stupid people but their own attitudes make that impossible since, as the study indicates, it is they who are looking down on their betters.

Which is one reason why I've been calling for a hunting season on liberals. 

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About tedwest

A longtime veteran of comedy and political forums, I decided that I needed a more restful venue because... well... I finally hate everybody. Except my wife that is... and my ex-wife.. and... no, that's about it. I lead about as simple a life as one can, preferring activities that include anything that doesn't involve going out and seeing YOU! And I particularly enjoy what I call "Get the Bitch" movies on Lifetime. You know the ones where the intended victim finally does something so incredibly stupid that she forfeits her right to live, and from that moment on you're rooting for the stalker. Of course, it rarely works out the way you want, but when it does, the feeling you get is... well, there's nothing else like it, other than, maybe, eating chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and I'm proudly anti-wildlife, both foreign and domestic, and anti-environment - especially foreign environments. I think Howard Stern put it best when he said, "If fifty percent of the population died tomorrow, I can live with that." And I feel the same about the other fifty percent, so together, we've pretty much got it all covered.
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6 Responses to Stupid Study Unearthed

  1. Paxton says:

    I always love your leaps in logic. It's like looking a moebius strip trying to figure out where the starting point is.
    One study: "The smartest kids turned into the most broad-minded and progressive adults. For example, the most intelligent kids turned out 20 years later to be much more tolerant of other races. They were also much more supportive of working mothers, rejecting the notion that pre-school children will suffer without a stay-at-home mother. In general, the sharpest kids came to embrace much less traditional moral values and were much more apt to challenge authority. They were also much less cynical as adults, more trusting that the political system can do good."
    Another study: "The brain neurons of liberals and conservatives fire differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that some political divides may be hard-wired."
    Of course, these studies aren't conclusive, and they also only show trends, not absolutes (a differentiation most conservatives have trouble with). Not every liberal is smarter than every conservative, but the current data shows that on the average, we are. To say that liberals are stupid is not only untrue in the specific (I'm a liberal who is also a member of Mensa), it's not true in general, either.
    This study that stupid people think they're smarter than they are, however, does explain to some degree why the current administration has failed on multiple levels and still thinks they are doing a terrific job.

  2. TedWest says:

    Paxie, everything old is new again! When I was new online… even before there was much of a Net to speak of, I used to go to the Mensa forum on CompuServe and marvel at how stunningly stupid they all were. Every last one of 'em mistook pomposity for intelligence, or maybe it was the other way around – that someone or something told them they were intelligent and it went right to their heads!
    And now you've brought it all back again! I've encountered a number of morons here, but in one post, you've superseded all of them – just as one might expect from a Mensite. And the beauty of it is that you're oblivious to it all… as I shall be more than happy to point out in meticulous detail by doing a little parsing (it's the only way I stand any chance of getting through to a big picture, detail oriented guy like you as this quote out of context so well demonstrates:
    "Not every liberal is smarter than every conservative, but the current data shows that on the average, we are."
    Let's start with the data and who gathered it, compiled it, and drew that conclusion, shall we? But first, let's put the above together with your opening sentence:
    "I always love your leaps in logic."
    Well, since "always" indicates some degree of continuity, thanks. However…
    I wish I could say the same for you because your logic is a chasm too wide to leap. So… did academics do the studies to which you alluded? You don't say! And you didn't say. So in all likelihood, liberals did the studies that conclude they're smarter. Hmmm… That doesn't seem too bright. I don't mean that as an insult, I mean, objectively speaking… if you wanted to prove your point, it would help with your credibility if a whole lot of conservative academics agreed.
    But then there aren't a whole lot of conservative academics, are there?
    Now I'm well aware that you probably think that the lack of conservatives in academia and the liberal arts professions reinforces your point – but that's just another reason why you can't reason if you get my drift.
    But lets look at that first quote from another angle – a more important angle… one that indicates that you may, in fact, not be smarter than a fifth grader. Btw, I'll bet you're not used to hearing that sort of thing, right? Just kidding, I'm sure you get that a lot, you just don't hear it, ha-ha.
    OK, so please indulge me here as I post that quote again because it was so delightful.
    "Not every liberal is smarter than every conservative, but the current data shows that on the average, we are."
    As an aside, I couldn't believe you said "we." Delicious. I mean, you discredited your own comment simply by responding here. Brilliant! Why I bet any other liberal following this (I know I'm making a big assumption that they can), was shaking his head when he read that. Incredibly stupid on its face, you enhanced it so much by the fact that you felt compelled to say it.
    And I just found myself laughing nostalgically as I recalled an episode from the CServe Mensa forum in which they were all speaking French to each other, you know, because French is the language of superior intelligence.
    Oh, and then there was the woman who was going to change her name. She was debating with the gang on what best framed and showcased who she felt she was. Interestingly, "Jackass," wasn't one of her considerations. I'm hoping to recall the name she decided on before I finish because I remember how it really captured her essence…
    "It's like looking a moebius strip trying to figure out where the starting point is."
    Now that has Mensa written all over it. Let me be clear so we're not talking apples and oranges in any future exchanges… Knowing "stuff" only means that one is capable of such things as more elaborate crimes and more flamboyant descents into insanity – which is the essence of many storied Dateline installments, and I wouldn't be surprised to see you in one someday.
    "One study: "The smartest kids turned into the most broad-minded and progressive adults."
    Uh-huh. Of course, that assumes those are good qualities, but we can't even begin to determine that since you didn't bother to define your terms. however, I'd bet gay marriage is in there somewhere, right? And I'd also wager they believe in "global warming" too? Because I'm sure you do.
    I want to digress a bit here because your post is actually an amazing coincidence. Just this morning I was thinking of writing about how our "progressive" society has given idiots free rein. Of course that was before I had a real live example.
    See, I spent twelve years in Catholic school, my high school years in honors classes, of course, while you went to public schools (I'm not psychic, it just shows). Now being an honors student in Catholic high meant that a) you were with the smartest guys around, and b) you had discipline imposed by the Brothers. That meant that you were encouraged to think, but that an intelligent adult with authority was there to tell you when you were all wet. And they, being brought up in the same disciplined environment, were well positioned to know what made sense and what didn't.
    You, on the other hand were encouraged to let your thoughts run, and I'll bet they are running wild right now as your assumptions and prejudices cause you to believe that these Brothers were small-minded and reactionary.
    But let's get back to you, shall we, since I know you're your favorite subject. And right now, you're mine too! The problem today is that without anyone to impose discipline, the nuts (similar to, but definitely not congruent with yourself) are running the asylum (society) where "progressive" for it's own sake is wonderful and logic has no meaning. Which is why I was amused that you think my logic is flawed. Have you met John? Silly me, you're sharing a brain!
    Anyway, John really knows his terms. he just can't put them into anything coherent in practice. You have the same problem. Of course, no one ever brought that to your attention either, because you know stuff and you've got the papers to prove it.
    "For example, the most intelligent kids turned out 20 years later to be much more tolerant of other races."
    And once again you presume that's a good thing. not that being intolerant is good… but I'm tolerant of other -people- … decent, thinking people. I don't care what color they are. And I'm just as intolerant of whites like you as I am Muslims who want to kill me. That's because you're dangerous. More so than they are, in my opinion. You think you know it all, and you want to impose your views on others by force. Or as you'll put it shortly, a "political system (that) can do good." And you believe in "hate crimes," don't you?
    "They were also much more supportive of working mothers, rejecting the notion that pre-school children will suffer without a stay-at-home mother."
    That's the single-most delightfully stupid bit. Not only are you again making assumptions without evidence, this time they're assumptions based on assumptions. You may need to get retested. And I'm not going to explain that to you because as smart as you are, you should know. The fact that you don't throws all those studies into question.
    "In general, the sharpest kids came to embrace much less traditional moral values and were much more apt to challenge authority."
    Now do you mean they had points on their heads or razor-like edges? If you hadn't said what you said in the previous quote, this one would have qualified as your most idiotic. Again, you assume that's a good thing amidst such things as increasing societal coarseness and STDs, but what's worse is that you presume that because people test as intelligent that their choices are correct.
    And what is the biggest concern is that you're the sort of person we have in control of our educational institutions – clueless. Change for its own sake, and consequences be damned. It's Lord of the Flies, the adult version.
    And don't ask me if you're a fly or a lord.
    "They were also much less cynical as adults, more trusting that the political system can do good."
    And that is precisely how you define a lack of cynicism, isn't it? Whereas I define cynicism as not trusting people like you.
    That study didn't include your likes sad to say, it only accounted for people who were know-nothings of things, not those who know nothing about how to think. It's not dumb people who are the real problem, it's people who are convinced they know something they don't… and who think you've expressed it all very well.
    But you can argue ethereal points, but there's not one liberal program or idea that's defensible – that makes sense… and in my experience, there's not one liberal who's rational. You haven't even succeeded as well as some of those you'd certainly consider your inferiors like Henrietta. Even Lenny towers over you if only because he wasn't so certain he knew something. That's why I won't even offer you a shot at the title, Rational Liberal.
    Now lets get to the final bit of fun…
    "Of course, these studies aren't conclusive, and they also only show trends, not absolutes"
    This, of course, is the only semi-intelligent thing you wrote, but you lapsed right back into stupidity with the following:
    "a differentiation most conservatives have trouble with"
    You don't even realize what you've done there, do you? And once again, I'm not going to tell you because I don't think you're capable of grasping it, but I'll give you a hint: you don't think that maybe it's you who has trouble in discerning what conservatives have trouble with?
    "To say that liberals are stupid is not only untrue in the specific (I'm a liberal who is also a member of Mensa)"
    All I can say is, I wish I wasn't drinking some lemonade when I read that the first time. I controlled myself, but a fine mist still got on the monitor. Then I swallowed and read it again. Stunning. My jaw dropped. I mean first off, if I were a member of Mensa, I wouldn't go broadcasting it.
    And I won't explain that either.
    Then there's the problem that you felt the need to say that to reinforce your point.
    And what follows from that is that you expected me to be impressed. Quite the contrary, not only is that meaningless and you should be mercilessly ridiculed for mentioning it (believe me, this isn't ridicule), but the idea that you had to do something to gain your 'status" and that you probably pay to maintain it is more a testament to your insecurity than intelligence.
    "it's not true in general, either."
    Well, I can only speak from my experience, but let's just say that neither you nor any other liberal who have come before you have done anything to alter… how did you put it… that "trend."
    And now I sincerely want to thank you for saving the best for last….
    "This study that stupid people think they're smarter than they are, however, does explain to some degree why the current administration has failed on multiple levels and still thinks they are doing a terrific job"
    Do you realize that's an hour session with the shrink all in itself?
    Let me try to condense it to twenty minutes.
    Why would you feel the need to mention that? Is it because you think I'd take offense? Do you think I identify with
    "the current administration?" What I love most about liberals is that they almost never do their homework – take Obama… please!
    But your comment is far more flawed than that. Do you think Carter and Clinton knew they weren't doing a terrific job?
    —-
    OK, so you couldn't resist answering me, I have more discipline with respect to the stupendously stupid liberal blogs, but in any case, do you think we're even because I couldn't resist answering you? Why I even spent a whole lot more time and effort – and intelligence I can't spare doing it, so in your tiny mind, you've won, right? (And yes, I fully realize that you've got so many brains they're spilling out, and that the reason I think they're tiny is that they're zip compressed). One problem…
    If you looked around here a bit harder… or even a bit, you might have realized that things aren't what they may seem. I write everything for effect, and a main goal is to suck in people just like you… OK, not exactly like you, I caught a whale this time. Anyway. once every few weeks I succeed and a good time is had by all.
    So if I write, say, about Bobo and Mickey, and it doesn't get a response, all that tells me is that I've got to ratchet it up some and voilĂ ! And over the years, I've found it doesn't matter what I say, what disclosures (like this one) I make, eventually, some fantastic idiot can't resist. I especially love it when I can sucker someone into a debate because they think they have me or even that they know something – Like Billy the Goat, or David a few weeks ago, and now… you, And you've rocketed right to the top. I guess that's what Mensa does for a body.
    So keep on believin' Paxie, don't stop thinkin' about tomorrow, keep hope alive, hang on to the audacity of audacity… just know that when you venture out of Liberaland, it gets harder, and your stock nonsense doesn't work too well. You're welcome to return with facts and evidence that reinforces something – anything, but you and I both know you won't be able to do that, so as they say in Mensa, to the revoir!?!
    Oh and remember the name change woman I referred to? She decided on Caro, Caro Dane. Classy! I'm sure you know her. Although she seemed smarter than you, and speaking of class I don't know the class levels in Mensa, but then I'm sure you're all so tolerant that there's none!?!

  3. Paxton says:

    That's a long response to my comment, Ted! I'm flattered. You really have a lot of time on your hands, don't you? I, myself, work full time and am working on my PhD at night, so I'm not as free to write such long comments.
    Let's start with the data and who gathered it, compiled it, and drew that conclusion, shall we?
    The first article I linked to was about a study by Ian Deary of the University of Edinburgh, G. David Batty of the Medical Research Council, Social and Public Health Science Units in Glasgow, and Catharine R. Gale, of the Medical Resource Council Epidemiology Resource Centre at the University of Southampton. It was published in Psychological Science, a peer-reviewed academic journal.
    The second article I linked to was about a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, which is also a peer-reviewed academic journal. The authors of the article were David M. Amodio and John T. Jost of the New York University Department of Psychology, and Sarah L. Master and Cindy M. Yee of the Department of Psychology of the University of California.
    As I said in my original comment, these studies aren't conclusive. They need to be duplicated. Yet, I think they are enough to indicate that you shouldn't assume all liberals are "stupid."
    did academics do the studies to which you alluded? You don't say! And you didn't say.
    Well, now I have. I don't always quote my sources on Vox, as this is a pretty informal forum, but since you asked I have obliged. Since the sources were listed right in the articles I linked to, they were readily accessible to anyone who knows how to use a search engine to dig a little deeper.
    So in all likelihood, liberals did the studies that conclude they're smarter.
    Could be. That's one reason the studies should be duplicated to verify the results. Since both articles were published in peer-reviewed journals, however, it is at least likely that they were conducted under proper scientific conditions to remove the affect of researcher bias.
    it would help with your credibility if a whole lot of conservative academics agreed.
    On the other hand, the researchers who published these articles might be conservatives. Since they seem quite intelligent, they are probably liberals, based on the results of their own studies.
    Most of the rest of your response is too unintelligible to make out, so I'll just skip through the highlights.
    And I'd also wager they believe in "global warming" too?
    The president does. He just doesn't agree with Democrats on what to do about it. Anyone who still doesn't believe in global warming just has their head in the sand, but that's a different topic.
    See, I spent twelve years in Catholic school, [blah blah blah]. Now being an honors student in Catholic high meant that a) you were with the smartest guys around, and b) you had discipline imposed by the Brothers.
    Catholic schools do tend to perform better than public schools, which is not surprising since they also tend to have lower student-to-teacher ratios. However, it does not necessarily follow that your Catholic high school was one of the ones that performed higher than the average public school. Therefore, it also doesn't necessarily follow that being an honors student at your particular high school means that you are exceptionally smart.
    I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I believe you're intelligent. You obviously know how to write well and communicate. I simply don't believe that you have much in the way of critical thinking skills. You approach every topic with bias and prejudice, discount any opposing evidence out of hand, and readily engage in ad hominim attacks, all signs of a person with an undisciplined mind, despite your assertion that the "Brothers" taught you such discipline.
    And once again you presume that's a good thing.
    I didn't presume anything. The phrase to which your responding is a quote from the article to which I linked. That's why there are quotation marks around it.
    Not only are you again making assumptions without evidence, this time they're assumptions based on assumptions. You may need to get retested.
    Again, notice the quotation marks. I didn't write the phrase which you are attributing to me.
    Now do you mean they had points on their heads or razor-like edges?
    Now you're being obtuse (pun intended). And, yet again, you're referring to something I didn't write as if I did. I was quoting the article to which I had linked.
    you assume that's a good thing amidst such things as increasing societal coarseness and STDs
    No, it is you who assume too much. As for "societal coarseness," you are the best example of that that I've seen. STDs are a huge problem in society, but their spread is not caused by liberal thinking. It's caused by promiscuity and a lack of prophylactic precaution, which is in turn promoted by ignorance. As it happens, I have been married and monogamous for fifteen years, and yet the some of the most conservative people I know are also the most promiscuous. You are making wild leaps in logic by linking liberal thinking with STDs, which only adds credance to my original comment.
    what's worse is that you presume that because people test as intelligent that their choices are correct.
    I wouldn't assume that. Smart people sometimes do dumb things, and I've been in Mensa long enough to know that – as you point out – there are a lot of strange people in it. They are all intelligent, but they don't all know how to use their intelligence. Many Mensans have Formula One race cars for brains, but don't know how to drive.
    I have also been in Mensa long enough, however, to have met some Mensans who are extremely liberal and some who are extremely conservative, and every shade in between. There is not a one-to-one correlation between IQ and political orientation, which is what your post implies.
    the idea that you had to do something to gain your 'status" and that you probably pay to maintain it is more a testament to your insecurity than intelligence.
    I joined Mensa because my wife wanted me to, and I humored her. I stay in Mensa because I enjoy the company of the local members that I have come to know. I don't know if you have friends, but if you do, you'll understand. I personally think Mensa is a silly organization – they stand for nothing other than getting people of like intelligence together. On the other hand, I've had rather amazing discussions with my fellow Mensans, both with those with whom I agree on the topic being discussed and those with whom I don't.
    I mentioned my affiliation with Mensa only to disprove your implication that all liberals were stupid. You have turned that around to mean that since Mensans are stupid, I am, in fact, stupid. You certainly have a right to that opinion, if you believe that high IQ, academic and professional success, financial security, and a stable, happy life are signs of low intelligence. I have all of these things. I am not bragging; I'm simply telling you that being a liberal doesn't preclude you from these things.
    I write everything for effect, and a main goal is to suck in people just like you…
    And… what? Do you want a cookie? You're proud that you spend your time baiting people into arguments? It seems a pretty sad way to spend your time, actually.
    I don't normally respond to posts such as yours, and I don't really know why I felt like doing it today. People like you are too full of hate to think rationally, and therefore any sort of discussion is pointless. I guess I felt I needed to vent, for which you have been very helpful. Go on baiting people into one-sided arguments based on fallacious premises. If it allows you to believe you've done something useful during the day so that you can sleep at night, so be it.

  4. TedWest says:

    Paxie, you really tickle me. For someone as profoundly intelligent as you obviously are based on your autobiographical accounts, you have this marvelous way of concealing it, and that allows others not only to feel completely comfortable but, I dare say, even a little superior in conversing with you. That's the mark of a true Mensan if ever there was one, and I'm sure the mother ship is every bit as proud of you as you are of yourself.
    "That's a long response to my comment…You really have a lot of time on your hands, don't you?"
    There, RIGHT THERE, is a perfect example of what I mean. Another person with so little time and as much deep depth as yourself might have just skipped such banalities. Instead, you went out of your way to make me feel perfectly at ease
    But to answer your question, I think awfully fast so there's not as much time involved as one might expect. I do it by focusing mainly on the important words I want to write – the insults.
    "I, myself, work full time and am working on my PhD at night, so I'm not as free to write such long comments"
    Thanks for the update, I just wish I could be a good host and appear to be as suitably impressed as you desire me to be instead of seeming to be (and I mean this in the absolute nicest sense) filled with contempt. I mean, if you're flattered that I gave you so much consideration, I should be doubly flattered that you've spent so much time here when you could otherwise be out saving the world with Bobo and Nan.
    But honestly, it was the second part that grabbed my attention. I mean, if you can write all of that when your time is so precious and limited, all I can say is that I'm glad I won't be the one reading your thesis.
    And of course, it does beg the question: then what are you doing HERE? Rest assured, however, I'm too much of a gentleman to ask.
    "The first article I linked to was about a study…
    OK, I admit I should have told you this earlier, but I won't consider your links until -you- make your own suitably strong case. Every time I follow a liberal's link, something's missing if you'll pardon my shameless pun. Take that Dave guy I mentioned earlier… utterly worthless links that he felt was all the evidence he needed. No matter that not only would what he presented not stand up in a court of law, there was not even any evidence to consider.
    Further, if and when I do visit your link, I shall require specific references to the page and paragraph(s) that you feel best makes your point.
    But I did catch that "peer-reviewed" (for lack of a better word) crap. Surely you know that means nothing? I'm sorry, less than nothing? And once again, I'll leave it to you to figure out what you should already know. I'll just add, and I hope I don't appear to be immodest, but I'm the only peer who counts as far as you're concerned.
    The other thing I noted was this:
    "It was published in Psychological Science"
    Oh man, you're killin' me. At least I wasn't drinking this time, though I wish I was if you see what I'm sayin'?!? Anyway, psychological science? it was published in a journal whose title is a contradiction in terms? is that like their version of The Onion?
    But OK, I'll reserve judgment until you give me a reason to look. And with that, I'll take my leave, but not because I didn't want to continue reading, I assure you. I mean you're very entertaining. It's late, and I wanted to be sure to steer you onto an amazing coincidence – it's something I'd read earlier in the day that I was going to reference in my original comment, but which I came to feel would be more appropriate if I were able to sucker… er, I mean… entice you into replying.
    And since you were kind enough to respond, I'm sure you'll agree that the following article provides a far more accurate picture of Mensa than the one you're so valiantly struggling to convey…
    For my part, I'll strive to digest the remainder of your, no doubt, pithy and meticulously detailed posting at my earliest opportunity, which should be early this afternoon. I'll be quite busy myself, but I feel fairly certain that I can easily deal with your points between pitches.

  5. Paxton says:

    Since most of this is a personal attack on me, there isn't much to respond to. You're certainly entitled to think I'm a moron. As usual, you sink to ad hominim attacks because you have no substance with which to counter. Here are some items perhaps worth responding to:
    But I did catch that "peer-reviewed" (for lack of a better word) crap. Surely you know that means nothing? I'm sorry, less than nothing?
    If peer-reviewed journals are less than nothing, then the article you referenced in you original post is also worthless. It was originally published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, another peer-reviewed journal.
    Anyway, psychological science? it was published in a journal whose title is a contradiction in terms?
    If psychological science is an oxymoron then, again, your original post is rendered meaningless. The study you referenced was a scientific study conducted on a psychological issue. If psychology cannot be studied scientifically, then you're wasting everyone's time by posting links to such worthless studies.

  6. TedWest says:

    Paxie,
    I'd like to begin with an apology and then return to the beginning of all this. Then I'll come back to the end and probably follow that by jumping around between the post-beginning and the pre-end, possibly even touching on the epilogue which, of course has yet to be written. All that, as I'm sure you're aware makes the forthcoming apology a prologue but at least it's in real time, but that's easy for me to say, I know.
    So where was I? Oh right, the apology. I sincerely regret not responding in a more timely manner, but there's a good reason – my air conditioner is behaving badly. And while that is merely an inconvenience in most areas of America (I'm talking about the America I know, I can't speak for the one spelled with a "k"), in Phoenix, it renders a room or a house uninhabitable very quickly. As a result, I was not only in no position to respond, as I write, I still haven't read that longer portion of your penultimate comment which I fully intend to do, if not now, someday when I want to reminisce about this wonderfully enlightening experience.
    And it truly has been. You may not realize it, but it's rare that I encounter a liberal like yourself, i.e. one who's smart enough to know he knows things, but not smart enough to know what he doesn't know, and yes, that does seem to make you a know-it-all in the classic sense, but it's almost unheard of that such a person submits himself to such scrutiny and continues to do so as you have/are. See, most liberals are like Billy the Goat and David. They start out confidently, and then at some point realize they're overwhelmed. It may or may not be a conscious realization. Personally, I think it's more likely the buzz-saw effect, but regardless, on the rarest of occasions someone like you comes along who's intelligent enough that he almost knows what he's talking about and feels completely confident that he's acquitting himself resplendently. Of course, therein lies the rub.
    The study I referenced didn't take you into account. It focused on the know-nothings who are so irritating to all (you and me alike) who actually know something. But your lot usually gets a pass because a) most others don't know enough to confront people like yourself, aka: hug-able Mensors, which probably even bolsters your confidence that you know what you're talking about, and b) people like me don't usually bother with people like you for reasons that should be obvious (but I don't want to take anything for granted) – you're capable of obfuscating endlessly, and so responding becomes more an exercise in endurance.
    But when I want to be, I'm up to it, lucky for you, and regardless of outcome, this then will be an experience you won't soon forget.
    Which finally brings me to your latest comment, easily your most substantive, if not in content, then in what it reveals, and I'm both enormously grateful that you persevered through my many and various (if not undeserved) insults, and I sincerely hope you'll feel rewarded for your efforts.
    That said, you've committed a cardinal sin of logic, one frequently made by people who may be familiar with core principles, but whose minds, like the one John has for example, won't allow them to fully put those principles into practice. It's likely a genetic flaw, though probably not the same one that allows one's mind to embrace liberalism, and ideology which, as you know, is rooted solely in emotion.
    And I should note parenthetically, this is, of necessity, already becoming overly-long, and I haven't even gotten to the first of several points I intended to make strictly for my own edification and enjoyment, since I'll likely be writing right past you most of the time. Which reminds me, don't you wish you could write like I do?
    Anyway, here is the crux of your problem:
    But first, I want to say I fully understand that you think all I've done is attack you, but truth be told, I've shown you great deference, and it's my shame. I mean, I would never spend this much time deconstructing lesser liberal loons. Then again, they can't provide the material you have, and so instead of my usual policy of all insults, all the time when it becomes apparent that there's no reasoning with a person, I've indulged you, even encouraged you, and while some of it is for my own selfish ends, another large part of it involves a level of masochism I wasn't aware I had.
    OK, so here's the quintessential example that's represents, and is at the root of, all your shortcomings – in thinking that my dismissal of peer review invalidates my own position, you've showcased what I see as liberal dyslexia. It's the cart before the horse sort of reasoning that's at the heart of all liberal ideas, programs, and principles (such as they are). I'll explain because I know you'll be able to grasp the explanation, even if you will remain unable to take future corrective action (and is there any other kind, really?).
    You see, peer review says nothing about the truth or accuracy of a given study. It's merely a device your kind uses to stifle debate and intimidate the unaware into thinking you have superior knowledge and resources. This, by the way, is what I meant in my last comment when I said it's something you should know implicitly, and it also amounts to further indulgence on my part, as I believe you see why I'd be perfectly justified in inserting a string of insults here in lieu of the explanation I just and so graciously provided (fact – I am being as gracious as I can be considering my virtually unbridled contempt for both your reasoning and your liberalism, and it's solely because when an intelligent person demonstrates the sort of flaws you've shown here, it could very well be that liberalism is a disease, and that you're not criminally insane as are most liberals with lesser to no thinking ability)
    So your study may very well be valid (though we'll never know because it was conducted by and for liberals), but saying it was peer reviewed is not way to assert that validity. Perhaps this will serve to clarify it further for you. When I see an eye-opening headline in the liberal media (as one does multiple times a day) that appears to damage or damn somehtng involving the right, I'm immediately skeptical. Most often, the headline is completely misleading, but on occasion there's some truth to what the headline blares. Almost never is there a level of truth such that the point of the article can be said to be substantially proven.
    Relating that to your study, one has to consider methodology, the people doing the study and their motivation (two separate things), the questions being asked, on whom the study was conducted, and so forth, not to mention that since the outcome is politically based, any conclusion would have to be beyond dispute (not merely peer reviewed, as I'm sure you understand now) to be regarded as valid. In other words, there appears to be a rather high degree of likelihood that your peer reviewed study is significantly to fatally flawed.
    Now consider the study I cited. It was not making a political point (I was), so any bias that existed would seem to come from the fact that the people doing the study were prejudiced against dumb people. I, for example, could not conduct such a study. And the study I cited intended to prove a much more objective point, not a general concept, which I'm sure (and in fact I saw at the conclusion of one such study as you've cited) liberals want to turn into a rule.
    And when I relate my study to liberals, that's an OPINION, based on experience. I make no claim to an scientific validity because I don't need one – day in and day out, people just like you prove my point. Worse, unlike liberals who embrace studies, you think I want it this way? I'd love to find a rational liberal. We could make a fortune on the carnival circuit.
    So I hope you see that my rejecting peer review in no way invalidates anything – other than peer review itself, and that your backward reasoning was itself horrifically flawed (it would be merely fatally flawed had you not invoked the doctrine of Mensitic Infallibility, thus negating said doctrine for ever and always).
    Furthermore, I don't know what you may purport to be an expert in, but if it's psychology, you're the problem, not the solution. In other words, I can't think of a less valid "science." And it could be argued that modern psychology is responsible for the sad state of society today.
    But I'm not going to argue that, and certainly not with you when you've shown a shocking lack of perception while at the same time reinforcing my own findings that liberals can neither reason nor mount a logical argument. But if it's any consolation, I have a brother who's a psychologist, and he's an infinitely bigger moron than you could ever aspire to be.
    I would have been and I remain more than happy to consider any point you'd want to argue but it requires that you make sense from start to finish else I'll have to reinstate my "all insults…" policy, but I want to make the same suggestion I make to lesser liberals – that you select one narrow point and stick to it. Stay as focused as you can. I don't think you stand a chance at the Rational Liberal title, but the experience might be fun and even instructive. I also offer this warning: over the years, several of your kind have managed a rational discussion of sorts, but only for a time. Inevitably the innate wackiness always comes out. That's when I tend to get nasty as contrasted with the extreme civility I've accorded you here.
    Oh, and don't begin with a flawed premise like, for example, that Obama is a decent human being. That leaves us nowhere to go but down. I mean, if I tried to reason with a fool, who'd be the bigger fool?
    And yes, I am the the one who determines what's logical, rational, reasonable, etc… Who else is gonna do it, you?
    But seriously, folk, I'm no expert, it's just that since high school, I haven't encountered many who are more logical than I, to which this blog is a searing testament. For example, you can't find one other person who's as critical of both sides of the political spectrum (or as hated, trust me) as I. And when I encounter an irrational righty (the vast majority) who is bent on pushing his irrational and uninformed ideas, it gets at least as ugly as it does with liberals. I admit you won't see that here very much, but I'll provide names on request.
    So you've given it your best effort, and it's not good to this point. I suggest you go back to Liberaland where all is safe and where making sense is not a requirement for getting nods and kudos. And thank you for demonstrating that stupidity is not the opposite of intelligence. The study didn't take you into account, but perhaps a follow-up will.
    And I mean all that in the absolute nicest sense.
    Best,
    Ted

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