H/T A.G., written by Jack Nitszche and Jackie DeShannon and sounding very Spector-ish. The Cake:
Gary Farber at Obsidian Wings:
Of course you are. We all are. We can’t think without basing our thinking on our past experiences and conclusions, and so we are led into all sorts ofcognitive bias.
Errol Morris had a brilliant series in June on The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is.
You should read Part 1, which includes the tale of the bank robber astonished to find that putting lemon juice on his face didn’t make him invisible to cameras.
[...] As Dunning read through the article, a thought washed over him, an epiphany. If Wheeler was too stupid to be a bank robber, 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.
Dunning wondered whether it was possible to measure one’s self-assessed level of competence against something a little more objective — say, actual competence. Within weeks, he and his graduate student, Justin Kruger, had organized a program of research. Their paper, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments,” was published in 1999.
Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, “When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine.”
It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence.
You can find the paper here.
And here is the explanation for most problems in policy, politics, life, and blogs:
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.
There it is.
A subset is that if you’re ignorant, but filled with false “facts,” you don’t know you’re ignorant.
Not that this could apply to any specific political groups in the news today, you understand.
Of course, we all know Robert Downey Jr.’s story, which gives this song special resonance. But a lot of us have tried to love someone who was broken:
God Almighty. Thus ends my lusting after all things Wilton, and buying their baking accoutrements, because fuck them.
I really, really, really loathe the cutesy little cottage industry devoted to maintaining the impression that not only does marriage suck, but it’s okay and actually hilarious that it sucks, and it sucks because Teh Wiminz is always dragging the freedom-loving men into it, in this case by the tuxedo. Fuck that noise. In the first place, dude, you didn’t have to get married. In the second place, your marriage doesn’t have to suck. You can make it not suck, or end the marriage, and thus deal with the problem instead of making funny fucking jokes.
I don’t know why this kind of thing annoys me so much, except for maybe the fact that I fucking love being married, so I sort of have the reaction people have when you say their football team sucks. Mostly, though, I just hate people letting themselves off the hook for stupid shit, pretending misery is unchangeable and inevitable, and trying to make out like it’s marriage’s fault their marriages suck.
I’ve been around people who talk like people who would laugh at this shit, and the undercurrent of desperation is just painful. If you are in a sucky relationship in which one of you is the jailer and the other one’s the guard (not like that, perverts), if you feel dragged to the altar, if you think of yourself as having been coerced into something you didn’t want, IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO LEAVE THE CAKE TOPPER AISLE AND GO GET SOME THERAPY. Possibly a restraining order of some kind. It’s not a joking matter. We have a limited amount of time on this planet. You shouldn’t spend it with someone who is angry and unhappy and punishing, and this shit comes from an angry, unhappy, punishing place.
And this is on top of your wedding cake? This is how you START the marriage? No wonder divorce rates are through the roof.
My son passed this along and asked me to do something. It’s from someone who posts in one of the forums he frequents, and his parents need help NOW.
There are, of course, a lot of people who need help right this minute. But this is the one that fell into my lap, so I figure I’m supposed to do something. Can you help, too?
In 2004 dad was diagnosed with PAD, peripheral artery disease. It started with him having slight pain when he walked long distances. Over the years it’s gotten steadily worse, and now he has nagging pain even at rest. Still, because he has no car, he walks everywhere, taking the bus where he can. The pain for him is unimaginable. But he bears it.
In 2008 dad lost his job. We’re from Las Vegas, and he’d worked in the casino industry, mainly as a poker dealer, for over 30 years. As you may know, Vegas was hit hard and early by the economic crash, and even today suffers some of the worst unemployment in the country. It wasn’t long before me and my parents were evicted from our apartment.
Luckily for us, my sister and her husband provided for us to move in with them out here in Michigan’s upper peninsula. For two years my dad lived here, on unemployment, continually applying for work at the indian casinos in the region. Any other job he’d be qualified for paid less than he got on unemployment. None of the casinos ever offered him a job.
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It must really suck to be a one-hit wonder. I mean, who writes one good song? And to play the same thing, over and over and over, for years…. but on the other hand, if that song is “Missing You”, well, there are worse legacies to have! Plus, there’s the painful-nostalgia cringe factor (I remember sitting in my snow-covered car and crying when I heard it, regarding a guy who was ultimately so insignificant, I’ve never bothered to mention him again).
John Waite live:
As Kevin Drum contends, it’s true that the more money you have, the more politicians worry about you. Obviously, that has pretty significant effects on the rest of us — unless we figure out a really effective way to scare the shit out of them.
You are what you consume. Is that true? It sort of feels right. I no longer watch “important” movies if they’re hopelessly violent or nihilistic (although I will note here that I think “Fight Club” is neither of those things), and I rarely watch horror movies anymore. I don’t want to flood my system with adrenaline; I’m trying to balance it.
As a singer, I often listen to songs I’d like to sing. Unfortunately, for women vocalists, that far too often falls into the category of “boo hoo”, crying-in-my-beer songs that are, frankly, more than a little depressing. So am I listening to these songs because I’m depressed, or am I depressed from listening to these songs? I think because I’m a writer, and so susceptible to word imagery, that I can wring out every last drop of resonance out of those depressing songs. Is that good for me? Probably not.
Because when I make a conscious effort to listen to more positive, upbeat music, I seem to feel a lot better.
What’s your experience? How does it affects you?