Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Parade Of Douchenozzles

[Updated July 31]

Image credit: Screenshot of The Daily Show by Cujo359

One of the sad facts of American TV news is that many of its front men (and front women) are empty-headed people no one in his right mind would trust with a motor vehicle, much less something as important as the jobs they have. Jon Stewart made that clear last night while highlighting some recent quotes by Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Glenn Beck, and a few other frighteningly ignorant people in a segment called "So You Think You Can Douche".

Best quote of the segment, referring to Fox News' designated moron Glenn Beck: "Normally, we have to go pretty far back in the vault to find people contradicting themselves. Very rarely is it a minute and fifteen seconds later".

Enjoy while my brain's recovering from the heat.

UPDATE (July 31): Kieran at sums up these douchenozzles, and the people who listen to them pretty well:

John Gruber mentions a report in the New Scientist about some research showing that people prefer cockiness to expertise:

The research, by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows that we prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record. Moore argues that in competitive situations, this can drive those offering advice to increasingly exaggerate how sure they are.

Now, this preference would be irritating but tolerable if cockiness was at least reasonably well-correlated with competence in practice, so that it wouldn’t usually be a mistake to plump for the cocky judgment over the quiet one. And it would be a little better if the two were actually uncorrelated. But as a famous paper by Kruger and Sunning showed, people who are bad at what they do are generally also incapable of understanding that they suck — and this directly contributes to inflated self-perception. So, incompetence tends to make people cocky and people prefer cocky judgements over demonstrated expertise, which is pretty much the worst of both worlds.

Cocky Bastards

[links from original]

There are certainly things about which we are justifiably sure we're right. That's usually due to having certain knowledge, or at least because we have heard a wide variety of experts say that something is so. When it comes to issues like President Obama being a socialist, or other notions that don't seem to be supported by the facts, I've learned that the more certain someone is of their position, the more likely it is that his judgment can't be trusted.

No comments: