The Dunning-Kruger Effect and the ignorance of experts

Sent to me from an old friend. That I can still have friends who find this video appealing says more about them than about myself. The intent is to prove what a self-confident dunce the American president is. For myself, listening to the text leaves me colder than cold. Not to distinguish between immigrants and illegal immigrants is one of those slither-past issues that the video makes hay with. Or to think the issue over the EPA is anything other than the utter idiocy of global warming, and even quotes the 97% statistic! Having been put together in 2017, it was made before the overwhelming evidence that the American economy is booming and manufacturing jobs are returning, so on yet another score it misses the point. And what’s the latest opinion on bringing home troops from Syria? My friend writes in his accompanying email:

‘The tag line is “The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”‘

which is the essence of the Dunning-Kruger effect, adding:

‘which may have direct implications for your continuing battles with orthodox academia.’

And so it might. But if I find any particular statement fits my mood in dealing with economic theory, it is from Richard Feynman:

Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.

Which applies as much to modern macro as it does to the modern Administrative State. As for the illusion of knowledge, what I find more incredible is the absence of knowledge. The media’s main role has been to ensure that only one side of the case is ever freely available. If news reporting were ever to become unbiased and honest – which it won’t – the parties of the left would never win another election until they too became parties of the right.

This entry was posted in American politics, Media, Politics of the Left. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to The Dunning-Kruger Effect and the ignorance of experts

  1. Nob

    Reagan said it best:

    It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.

  2. bespoke

    Progressives project its what they do. Anger, misogyny, narcissism, violence, racism and greed.

  3. Herodotus

    Progressives give rise to dud schemes 97% of the time and make misleading statements all the time.

  4. So……….this is just an anti Trump rant then? And I thought I was going to watch something interesting. Pfft.

  5. Win

    It was the slow earnestly articulated fake academic drone that sent me for the get lost button.

  6. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Lefties are at their absolute worst when they are trying to do their high moral ground conversion on you, Steve. Especially if they are academics, as the righteousness is palpable. They know best, because…

    Talk about walking the cloisters engaging in groupthink. Reason, logic, and that terrible bugbear of genuine (not exaggerated) empirical evidence just doesn’t come into it. Power does though. The power of grants, refereeing networks, and that old logical fallacy of argumentation from authority. They just know that ‘the science’ and ‘the experts’ are right. So they talk up feeble climatic ‘effects’, mostly spurious cherry-picking and data manipulation, and place a religious faith in statistical modelling, most of them knowing not a thing about it, not even the GIGO formula. They dismiss the work of genuine climatologists (the many geophysicists, oceanographers, meteorologists and other ‘hard’ scientists) who are skeptical, not having read their papers, nor having thought twice about the amount of money that is chasing this climatic bonanza. And yes, they will even throw 97% at you and expect you to take them seriously.

    Commiserations. It is tough, but those of us with doubts must stand firm.

  7. Tel

    The Dunning-Kruger Effect is tautological in retrospect but useless for prediction.

    Consider two people both accuse the other of ignorance and both accuse the other of having a “Dunning-Kruger Effect” mentality. Which one is correct? How can you figure out the “expert” in a situation?

  8. calli

    I got to 59 seconds.

    Trumpety Trump Trump Trump. He owns them all, even the ones with fake, toff-modulated tones designed to make them sound smarter than they really are.

    Sneering sneerers gotta sneer.

  9. Iampeter

    You’re really serving up a slow ball with this “Dunning-Kruger” business, Steve. On the cat no less, lol.
    But I’m big enough to let that one pass.
    In any case, other peoples ignorance, doesn’t change the fact that Trump supporters are also ignorant.
    More than one thing can be true at the same time.

  10. bollux

    Was David Marr the narrator?

  11. Peter Maynard

    The Dunning – Kruger Effect.

    The effect that causes videos narrated by Stephen Fry to sound more plausible and factual to people who do not know any better…….. just because he speaks with an uber plummy voice and, well it IS Stephen Fry so it MUST be true, he is after all gay and therefore by definition owned by the Left (or so they say) and hence can have no wrong think.

    There I have done it…proven Trump is an idiot. All without referring to him once.

  12. Andre S

    That YouTube video was loaded with narrative fallacies

  13. Mark M

    This Is What Happens When You Watch Mainstream Media TV News

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPyJNMCvPp4

    Warning: graphic language, includes graphs.

  14. Roger

    “The enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”

    Interesting report on the rise of a DEXIT movement in Germany yesterday on ABC radio.

    It’s being led by the AfD party, the country’s de facto opposition, which is rising in support.

    After outlining the issues reasonably fairly, the reporter went to an “expert”, a plummy accented female Australian academic (iirc) specialist on the EU, whose opening line was “It would be a disaster…”.

  15. tombell

    get yourself some new friends.

  16. Kates lecturing about Dunning-Kruger! Satire is dead.

  17. Boambee John

    Ah, m0nty, believer in government by “experts”, but only those whose views he accepts.

    Look up Richard Feynman, and learn something about the humility that comes with real intelligence.

  18. Bad Samaritan

    Harken Now (9.57am) Ah…the Ozone Hole…

    In 1996 I was visiting loads of friends in Europe; mostly in Germany, France and Italy. Without fail the Germans were all asking me about how awful it must be to be in Australia, being fried alive by all those deadly rays coming through that hole, whilst no-one ever (that’s not ever) mentioned it anywhere else.

    Bearing in mind that I was not yet woke to leftist BS and carpet-bagging ways (such as sending trolls to invent stories on blogs to help them make money by attempting to dumb their “inferiors” down even further) I was more puzzled than woken…back then.

    Anyhow, as with all leftist scams the simplest way to understand why they say and write such BS constantly is to A) Realize that following the money is first principle motivating them, and B) Most onlookers are swayed by constant repetition of said BS.

    So, HN, care to guess why Germans “knew” so much about how “frightfully dangerous” Australia was back then? C’mon, you’re a smart young lad, are you not?

  19. Dr Fred Lenin

    Lefties never talk to you ,they talk at you . I notice the only way they ever get rich is by purloining taxpayers money ,,( hawke ,keating,krudd, giliard ,shorten , the list is endless ,academics and PS mandarins too . Trump made his billions in the hardest game in the world with the toughest opponents around ,never been a lefty born who would survive 5 minutes in that environment, the smart guys would chew them up and spit them out . They remind me of those bloody one track mind of the one eyed missionaries of the past .blind stupid !

  20. alan moran

    Trump is right that every nation needs to protect its borders and that walls are as effective in keeping the unwanted out as the Iron Curtain was in keeping the wanted in.

    One issue though is the rationale for creating a case for emergency funding – namely the crime risks. Native born incarceration is far higher than that of immigrants, legal and illegal. According to Cato, 325 and 800 per 100,000 respectively versus 1521 for native born. And if Americans wanted to improve the law abidedness of their populace they would import Asians whose legals/illegals crime rate is 121/169.

  21. Dr Fred Lenin

    Roger, obviously some Germans dont like the merkel fourth reich remembering the third one ,if Germany and France leave soros will be bitterly disappointed ,all thst money in bribery wasted ,,poor schwartzy bastard !

  22. md

    The media’s main role has been to ensure that only one side of the case is ever freely available.

    Reminds me of then presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s speech at the Al Smith Dinner:
    https://youtu.be/R4Cw-UdQNtw?t=315
    Listen to the entire speech – very entertaining.

  23. Bad Samaritan

    alan moran (1.06pm). Let’s say native-born Americans (mostly men of course) committed 500,000 rapes last year, and illegal immigrants “only” 20,000 rapes. The 20,000 are a reasonable thing to accept and tolerate because the other 500,000 also happened? The 20.000 rapes were acceptable because the rest of the illegals were a net benefit which outweighed them? Also….

    I saw that Cato report and was wondering how much more difficult it would be to catch and convict a perp if there was record of that perp anywhere in the US to match DNA, fingerprints, descriptions with… vs native-born. Does the article spell this out? Wouldn’t the clear-up rate be far less for crimes committed by illegals? The Cato article was based on convictions..

  24. max

    Why Climate Change Isn’t Science

    “Environmentalists first predicted impending climate disaster in the 1970s, but they didn’t call it global warming. Back then, it was “Global Cooling” that would end life on earth as we knew it.

    the threatened the ice age did not occur, and thousands of people with time on their hands and seeking purpose in life had discovered that they could make a career out of disaster prophecy. Thus, it was time for a new catastrophe: “Global Warming” Well, maybe not so new. Same villain: us and our machines. Same victim: our delicate planet earth. Same threat: the end of life as we know it. Only the predicted temperature had changed.
    Global warming appealed to the press’s appetite for calamity and became an instant hit. The headlines wrote themselves: The poles will melt! The oceans will rise! Lakes and rivers will dry up! Farmlands will become deserts! Millions will starve to death! This was big. Government would have to join the fight.
    In the nineties, environmentalists switched their emphasis to “Climate Change” This was a marketing move. Global warming could credibly be blamed for warming, but climate change could be blamed for anything. If hurricanes increase one year, that’s evidence of climate change. If they decrease the next year, well, that’s climate change too. Droughts are caused by climate change, but so are exceptional rains. Warmer winters prove climate change, but so do colder winters. (Claiming that frigid temperatures are caused by global warming would sound ridiculous.) “Climate Change” was disaster gold. It couldn’t be disproved.
    Which is exactly why it’s not science. It’s pseudo-science, according to the great philosopher of science, Karl Popper, who pointed out that for any theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable. There must be something within the theory itself that can be disproved.

    Strictly speaking, “Climate Change” theory isn’t really a scientific theory at all. It doesn’t take into relevant account factors which arguably have a far stronger effect upon climate than CO2, like the sun, ocean currents, and the greatest greenhouse gas of them all, water vapor.
    What “Climate Change” is, is a bunch of doomsday predictions.”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/01/14/why-climate-change-isnt-science/

  25. Tim Neilson

    Native born incarceration is far higher than that of immigrants, legal and illegal. According to Cato, 325 and 800 per 100,000 respectively versus 1521 for native born.

    Alan, you’re overlooking the propensity for “progressive” judges and magistrates to refuse to record convictions against illegals in case it leads to them being deported.

    There’s no way of telling what the real crime figures for illegals are.

  26. Oh come on

    I’m with Calli. I don’t think I cracked a minute, either.

    I did find it quite amusing that whoever made this video is so oblivious that they don’t see how their point so obviously applies to their own perspective.

  27. Oh come on

    According to Cato, 325 and 800 per 100,000 respectively versus 1521 for native born

    Who cares? The immigrant crime rate should be as close to zero as possible.

  28. Oh come on

    According to Cato, 325 and 800 per 100,000 respectively versus 1521 for native born

    Who cares? The immigrant crime rate should be as close to zero as possible.

  29. yarpos

    Dunning Kruger also includes the premise that realtively intelligent people make an incorrect assessment that because they understand something many others do as well.

    You can see that when some talk confidently about the issues surrounding wind and solar in a first world grid. The vast majority of people switch off at the first mention of a Megawatt hour, but they bang on with ever increasing complexity and whatever the basic message intent was, it is lost.

  30. alan moran

    Oh come on
    Immigrant crime should indeed be eliminated but it is hard to justify this as a national catastrophe when it is lower than native born crime.

  31. Immigrant crime should indeed be eliminated but it is hard to justify this as a national catastrophe when it is lower than native born crime.

    So two wrongs make a right? Pedos should be treated less harshly than other crims because they are in a smaller group? Let’s just judge criminals on the numbers, not the crimes.

  32. bespoke

    alan moran

    Is what stopped at the border included in those stats?

  33. J.H.

    They misrepresented President Trump’s words. President Donald Trump is talking about Illegal Immigration, NOT legal Immigrants. So all those strawman statistics are not relevant to Trump’s main argument against open borders and unregulated entry.

    … as for the EPA. Those non scientific idiots declared an atmospheric trace gas that is essential to life, as a Pollutant.

    The Dunning/Kruger effect is more likely to apply to the Media and Academic class that it is to those in Private enterprise like Trump. Business has to be successful, so all grandiose thinking has to end in success or you blow your money…. The academic world and that of media is entirely the other way, the more bizarre and catastrophic the utterances, the more accolades they receive as progressive thinkers.

    The Trump derangement train is still rattling down the tracks in Lefty land…. with all the windows blacked out.

  34. Bad Samaritan

    alan (3.34pm). Careful. That wasn’t crimes committed. It was convictions.

    I’m guessing that catching perps who have no details on record; who don’t exist in any data base of DNA, fingerprints, etc would be much harder than catching native-borns with all that stuff at hand.

    Waddya reckon?

  35. Iampeter

    Trump is right that every nation needs to protect its borders and that walls are as effective in keeping the unwanted out

    I think this is a common non-sequitur and the left use “arguments” like this all the time to push their collectivist agenda.
    It combines a legitimate function of government, in this case border defense, with non-rights violating activities that don’t require any government involvement, in this case immigration.
    It’s similar to a leftist who might argue, businessmen might commit fraud and so we need regulatory agencies to police them. It’s true we need the government to prevent fraud, but that doesn’t mean a government can seize peoples wealth to regulate their lives, in the absence of any actual rights violations/actual fraud.
    I’m not saying you’re intentionally trying to make this argument, but I’m just picking up on that sentence to illustrate how conservatives sound almost verbatim like socialists.

  36. bepoke

    Imp are you saying no vetting at all for people that cross the border?

  37. bespoke

    Imp Are saying no vetting at all for people that cross the border?

  38. Exit Stage Right

    Well done Steve,

    You got three lefties to poke their heads above the parapets in one hit. All talking shite. You must have hit a lefty nerve. Keep up the good work!
    The Orange Man will prevail!

  39. egg_

    … as for the EPA. Those non scientific idiots declared an atmospheric trace gas that is essential to life, as a Pollutant.

    Whereas they’re trying to say that oceanic methane in the form of methane clathrate gets entirely consumed in the ocean by organisms, even at depths as shallow as 100m.

  40. Tel

    Immigrant crime should indeed be eliminated but it is hard to justify this as a national catastrophe when it is lower than native born crime.

    The classic way to achieve this statistic is to group MS-13 gang members along with IT workers on a legal visa from Bangalore as if they were all one and the same people.

    Now I accept that Cato sort of tries to do a bit better than this, but it seems kind of obvious to me that if someone crosses the border illegally then it’s illegal activity. You might well disagree with that law, possibly want the law changed but that’s a political process not your personal whim… so it’s still an illegal to cross the border without an invitation, not different to entering into a house without an invitation, or deciding to occupy a Wall Street bank that doesn’t belong to you. We don’t live under libertarian law (no one ever has done) we live in a nation state, which operates like a club and there’s rules so now it’s a question of will those rules be enforced or not?

    Same thing applies to fake social security numbers, cash in hand jobs, paying tax, working without a work permit and all those things. They are illegal activities, under our current law. Do we enforce the law? Do we say, “Don’t worry about it there is no law?”

    The Cato article then ignores people breaking the law, and decides to count people who got caught. They don’t know who is in the country illegally so they make some estimates. They don’t know how accurate the census data is and they don’t subdivide the types of reasons someone might be incarcerated (for example, someone who does fill in tax returns is more likely to get caught on some technicality than someone who stays off the radar and always works for cash). It seems like a report designed to get a statistic that says what Cato wants it to say.

  41. Tel

    They misrepresented President Trump’s words. President Donald Trump is talking about Illegal Immigration, NOT legal Immigrants.

    Yes Trump specifically said people who cross the Southern border illegally. He has never at any stage come out against legal immigration, indeed on a number of occasions he has supported legal immigration.

    That still leaves the question of what the legal process should be … but Trump represents executive power, it’s the job of Congress to make the law.

  42. Wozzup

    The Dunning – Kruger effect. The effect that causes people who sound like Stephen Fry seem plausible, even though they are lefties, when people who are not smart enough to know better hear them speak.

  43. Iampeter

    Yes Trump specifically said people who cross the Southern border illegally. He has never at any stage come out against legal immigration

    Yea, just like the people who implemented 18C in Australia are specifically after illegal speech. They never said anything about legal speech.
    Don’t you guys get it? Politics is about uncritically supporting whatever gummint randomly says is legal and opposing whateve gobberment randomly says isn’t legal.
    Politics sure is easy when you don’t have to think!

  44. Had to laugh when they noted how the media focuses on the negatives and then proceeded to focus on what they claimed where Donald’s negatives.
    Too dumb to see their own inconsistencies. The Dunning – Kruger effect perhaps.

  45. bespoke

    Don’t you support unchecked movement across the border Imp?

  46. max

    Conservatives quote Ronald Reagan. “A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.” Conclusion: from 1788 to 1882, the United States was not a nation. Silly, isn’t it? Then why do conservatives quote it?
    “Your papers, please!” World War I brought us that grim phrase.
    The conservative tradition in America, 1788-1882, was open borders. So was the liberal tradition. The Constitutional tradition in America was open borders. Only in 1882 did this begin to change. It escalated in 1924.
    If you listen to the proponents of immigration restriction today, you would think the George Washington and James Madison in 1787 persuaded the Constitutional Convention to authorize congressional restrictions on immigration. You would think that this was part of the American constitutional tradition. But the U.S. Constitution has no reference to any such restrictions.
    Anytime somebody says that there have to be some sort of social criteria beyond non-criminal judicial status, in order to gain residence in the United States, he is saying that politicians in Congress, and permanent tenured bureaucrats in the executive, are competent in understanding what America needs today, and what America will need in the future.
    Conservatives don’t believe this in many areas of life, but with respect to two things — imported goods and imported people — they believe that Congress knows better, and the tenured executive bureaucracy knows best. This is the default mode of thinking for most conservatives. They believe with all their hearts that Congress can be trusted, and tenured executive bureaucrats protected by Civil-Service laws are in effect a kind of priesthood. “These people know what America needs.”
    Why should anyone believe this?

    https://www.garynorth.com/public/13246.cfm

  47. JohnA

    max #2908731, posted on January 16, 2019, at 11:54 am

    The conservative tradition in America, 1788-1882, was open borders. So was the liberal tradition. The Constitutional tradition in America was open borders. Only in 1882 did this begin to change. It escalated in 1924.

    But, was the conservative, liberal tradition correct? What happened prior? Didn’t the colonists fight a revolutionary war against British soldiers and exclude them from the continental colonies? Would a wall of lead bullets be as strong as a wall of steel plate?

    What worked from 1788-1882? What didn’t? And what changed in 1882?

  48. max

    I am not big fan of American Constitution or American revolution.
    North Americans ( Canadian colonist did not rebel )

    The believers in fences offer many arguments. Some of them say this: “Those people want to get free government welfare. We cannot afford it.”

    The defender of liberty replies in two ways: “First, these programs should be abolished. They are based on government planning and coercive wealth redistribution. They are the main problem, not any immigrants who may sign up. Second, the sooner they go bankrupt, the better. Let immigrants sign up.” The problem is this: most conservatives approve of these welfare programs in theory and practice. The big ones are Social Security, Medicare, and tax-funded education. Conservatives do not want these programs de-funded. They see them as part of the American way of life.
    https://www.garynorth.com/public/13246.cfm

  49. Confused Old Misfit

    Any comparison of the world between 1788 & 1882 is ludicrous.
    Gary North should know better.
    The welfare programs are not the main problem but they are a part of the problem.
    Legal immigrants are not a problem.
    Illegal immigrants are.

  50. Confused Old Misfit

    Should read:
    “Any comparison of the world between 1788 & 1882 and the present is ludicrous.

  51. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Conclusion: from 1788 to 1882, the United States was not a nation. Silly, isn’t it?

    no. It did control its borders, and let people in. border control is not just about keeping people out

  52. Tel

    The conservative tradition in America, 1788-1882, was open borders. So was the liberal tradition. The Constitutional tradition in America was open borders. Only in 1882 did this begin to change. It escalated in 1924.

    That’s wrong of course, the original conservative tradition in America was a confederation of states where each state could operate independently, including control over entry, travel and who was allowed to settle within that state. Gradually powers devolved to the center and border control never was explicitly spelled out in the US Constitution of 1788 so it evolved out of practical usage and court precedents (which they are in the process of nullifying right now).

    Back then there was no civil rights law and each town had independent local enforcement who could pretty much kick anyone out for any reason. There were also Comanches on the Southern border which probably kept people out a lot better than any wall ever will.

  53. max

    Tel
    #2908854, posted on January 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    “each town had independent local enforcement who could pretty much kick anyone out for any reason.”

    Yes best best solution for every one, let each town, even better council decide what they need, including taxes and money — let free market decide.

    Why should bureaucrats in Canberra telling all of us what we need.

    Enemy is not over there it is here, our big government

Comments are closed.