The Science of Ignorance


Who better than John Cleese to explain the Dunning-Kruger study?

If you didn’t watch the above video, here’s what the study is about. The Dunning-Kruger study discovered that people who are incompetent (or in plain terms, stupid), don’t actually realise it. This is because they can’t gauge the extent of their inadequacy. On the other end of the spectrum, more competent and highly-skilled people tend to underestimate their abilities, and overestimate those around them. So, if you’re slightly unsure of yourself? You’re a genius. Super confident all the time? You’re probably a dunce. Here are some examples of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action.

McArthur Wheeler

This simpleton is the one who kicked off the whole experiment. In 1995, Wheeler robbed two banks, with absolutely zero attempt at a disguise, in broad daylight. When he was arrested an hour after surveillance tapes were released, he flat out denied to the police it was him. So they showed him the tapes, and the poor lad got really confused. “But I wore the juice?” he said. He knew that lemon juice was a kind of ‘invisible ink,’ and thought that if you rub your face with lemon juice, your face is rendered invisible to video cameras. Wow.

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Trump and his minions

“I love the poorly educated,” once said Mr Trump. Enter, Trump supporters. Example: 41% of his supporters said they would support the bombing of Agrabah, the fictional city in the movie Aladdin. David Dunning, the guy that did the study, explains the problem of their ignorance like this. “The problem isn’t that voters are too uninformed. It is that they don’t know just how uninformed they are.” But let’s not forget the man himself. The less competent you are (Trump), the more competent you think you are (running a country).

George Costanza

Arguably one of the best TV characters ever and if you disagree with this then you probably find Two and a Half Men funny. From the moment he pushed over a clown and children at a kids birthday party to get out of the burning house first, he cemented a place in our hearts. But he also displays many signs of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action (with a sprinkle of being a bona-fide sociopath). He has sex with the cleaning lady on the desk at his new job, and is too ignorant to realise that this is considered socially unacceptable behaviour. Poor George is blissfully ignorant of many things in life, including his own capabilities. (Please see: His career at The Yankees).

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Pauline Hanson

You know what’s a great career progression? Going from owning a fish and chip shop, to jail, to Dancing with the Stars, to being in the Queensland Senate. Unfortunately, this career belongs to Pauline, the quintessential flamin’ mongrel of Australian racism. The woman afraid of Asian invasion, Muslims as a whole and the concept of multiculturalism- basically anyone who looks like they wouldn’t be sporting a Southern Cross tat. Hanson is so incompetent as both a person and a politician, she doesn’t actually realise the crap spurting from her mouth is utter stupidity, (Dunning-Kruger). However, one identifying aspect of the syndrome is only once their stupidity is pointed out, does the person realise their shortcomings. But from the moment she asked a journalist to, “please explain,” we knew she was already too far gone. Enjoy your Halal snack pack in hell Pauline.

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Gene Ray/’Wisest Man Alive’

Gene Ray, whose Twitter handle is @Wisest_Human. He runs his own website which contains his theory of everything, from Cubism (his personal favourite), religion, science, and the world. He is completely bat-shit crazy, but doesn’t realise it. Here are some facts from the self-proclaimed Doctor, enjoy.

“Greenwich Mean Time is wrong and evil, so is 3 dimensional math.”

“I have supernatural wisdom.”

“You are stupid and evil about the Earth’s top & bottom, front & back and its sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.”

“Belly-Button Logic© Works. When Does Teenager Die? Adults Eat Teenagers Alive, No Record Of Their Death.”

And then there’s these pinheads.

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