“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” – Issac Assimov
That was back in 1980, 40 years ago and since then, Assimov and many others have been proven right a billion times over. I’ve called it the Plague of Stupid in an effort to describe the incredible decline in cognitive awareness of the real world. Not the imagined world, not the fantasy world, not the fake and false world that so many are so inclined to promote and claim is “real” according to their “beliefs”, but the real world that exists around each and every single one of us. The world without ideology, political partisanship, confirmation bias and distorted ill-conceived opinions. None of this fluff actually matters, but it does take center stage and all the attention and we are all the worse off for it.
In many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize — scratch that, cannot recognize — just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: For poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack. To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar, for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules, an impossibility among the incompetent. Poor performers — and we are all poor performers at some things — fail to see the flaws in their thinking or the answers they lack. What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge. – We Are All Confident Idiots
The Dunning-Kruger effect is a term that describes a psychological phenomenon in which stupid people do not know that they are in fact stupid. I run into this problem constantly. Stupid people spouting stupid things that are provably false, factually wrong and often irrelevant. It’s rather depressing because it is so pervasive and inescapable. You cannot go anywhere and have any kind of interaction with another human without running into this problem. Worse, they refuse to accept any advice or read the evidence, but perversely, they’ll accept the advice and the claims made by other like-minded people. This is a demonstration in cognitive bias, cherry-picking preferred sources of information to develop opinions and belief systems around.
It’s a very dangerous and incredibly stupid way to live. It’s not the least bit harmless either, a lot of people are now dying precisely because of this failure to actually read factual information.
The new-new-new COVID R1 variant is now gaining steam and it will in all likelihood kill even more people, especially those that still get their medical advice from unqualified utter idiots with no expertise in the fields they are advising others to follow. These “confident idiots” have already killed tens of thousands of people. We should all know this is coming, an even higher death toll, and even more rabid refusals to get vaccinated. These clowns are walking with their eyes wide-open towards their deaths. They’re gutting the Republican party and littering the corpse of this fascist movement with gravestones.
So be it. I’m not going to stand in the way. Nobody can. But in the meanwhile, they still have to be resisted and prevented from doing more harm to the country.
The other super-huge issue that will also effect every single human being on the planet, even those not yet born, is catastrophic climate change. The disinformation and deceptions that surround this critical topic, now unfolding in the real world, are absolutely enormous. Like COVID, climate change doesn’t care about politics, identity, borders, age, religion or your “belief” system. Climate change is a physical process that is now responding very negatively to human emissions. Catastrophic storms have already taken a heavy toll on entire regions and communities, who I am sorry to say, will “blame the weather” or even worse, still remain in denial while looking at the ruins of their former home.
It’s easy to say that such people could simply educate themselves and avail themselves of the publicly available information, but most of them won’t. The same could be said of most of American politicians who are in the party of denial (R). The disconnect from the unfolding reality now destroying human lives and the stubborn and incredibly stupid insistence that all these people cannot possibly be wrong is a huge disconnect from reality. They are clearly and obviously wrong but cannot even see it:
In many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize — scratch that, cannot recognize — just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. Logic itself almost demands this lack of self-insight: For poor performers to recognize their ineptitude would require them to possess the very expertise they lack. To know how skilled or unskilled you are at using the rules of grammar, for instance, you must have a good working knowledge of those rules, an impossibility among the incompetent. Poor performers — and we are all poor performers at some things — fail to see the flaws in their thinking or the answers they lack. What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.
Which of course, is not knowledge, it is belief. Belief in false claims. Belief that even believes itself to supersede all other forms of knowledge, facts and evidence. This belief transcends any “facts” that can be presented and will go out of their way to reject established facts in order to support their belief. They cannot differentiate between belief and actual facts either, to them, they are one and the same, which of course isn’t true.
So far, I’ve managed to convince just one person to get vaccinated. Just one, and I’m hoping he actually did. He waited a very long time with a very compromised wife in his household to do this. She absolutely cannot catch COVID as she will likely die from it. His belief was fabricated by countless others – social media noise, right-wing connedspiracy claims and endless utter garbage from sites like Fox News other others. For years I’ve failed to get this individual to actually read factual information, but recently while speaking on the phone, he said he’d get this done after I explained to him what he was risking.
I shouldn’t have had to do that. Nobody should have to do that. The information and the facts are all out there, easily found and easily researched, but social media and disinformation website and fraudelent news channels are actively spreading complete and utter lies and passing them off as facts. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Donald J. Trump capitalized on this sordid mess and to this day, he is still seriously screwing with American minds. People who haven’t got the intelligence of a gnat and cannot break the chain of cult personality that he created. Their beliefs have led many to despair and even suicide, others have acted out in their violent fantasies and countless others have literally thrown their lives away for him and on his behalf. I know this sounds crazy but it’s all true. Since losing the Election, there has been an increase in Americans who believe the election was “stolen” despite NO evidence that actually demonstrates this.
What keeps on not happening is the rejection of provably (and endless) false claims. They’re all still with us. When challenged in sufficient amounts, they simply change their narrative and fabricate entirely new ones. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole, you can’t stop them from coming up.
Many Americans are absolutely exhausted over this dissension and with good reason. The entire country is grid-locked by the Plague of Stupid that has only grown since Trump left office and the gigantic mess he created. The internal divisions of the country are greater then ever, much more so then last year. While this blog has often concentrated on climate change and how this will affect us all, this topic gains almost no traction anywhere. Instead, a reversal of basic rights is taking place, with Texas and other States taking the lead. Governors are now dictating what school districts and businesses can and cannot do to protect their own staffs. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed in a knee-jerk response to litigate and rule against common sense measures.
The country is unrecognizable now. This isn’t America. This doesn’t even remotely represent the America I once knew. We’re now living out the dystopian fantasies of the reactionary idiots that are screwing everything up. I think quite a few of us had hoped this would just finally go away after Trump was deposed, but it hasn’t, not one bit. The rhetoric and whining has only increased and so have the connedspiracies. This toxic poison is going to quite literally destroy this country from within, and it will be at the hands of our fellow Americans.
Things are far from normal here now. I do not believe (without evidence) that “normal” will return to this country. A lot of people do, including a lot of politicians, authors and everyday kinds of people, but I don’t. I haven’t seen any evidence that we will be rid of the insanity that has poisoned the country. Nothing is really being done about it, which is why it is still growing. Countless laws and State level legislation has been passed to only make things worse. If I could escape this country and take my grand kids with me, I’d be gone because I believe the country is going to implode. Clear thinking people are getting harder and harder to find, I almost never hear from any. Instead, I’m treated to asinine connedspiracy theories, irrelevant comments, endless conjecture and utterly ridiculous straw arguments and false claims every single day. I now dread the telephone, and I won’t have anything to do with the unsocial media landscape of delusion and lies.
A psychologists would declare that Americans are mentally ill and deeply disturbed and they would be quite correct. So far, no cure has been found and I doubt very much that our present government will find one either. We’ve got HUGE pressing problems that desperately need to be addressed, but keep getting relegated off to the side as the endless bullshit and rhetoric screeches higher and higher. This is now at a deafening roar and social media outtlets, Fox New, Newsmax, OAN and many others are behind it. It’s pure poison and life threatening for the country.
I can’t leave but wish I could. I’ve told my kids that they should get out if they can, but they’re not really listening either. I know what is coming, the writing is on the wall virtually everywhere.