By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
It’s time to address an epidemic in the United States. It’s one that could be deadly, particularly to liberty.
It’s an epidemic of Dunning-Kruger. It’s why ignorant people are so certain that they’re right.
What’s that, you ask?
The Dunning Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which individuals, who are unskilled at a particular task, believe themselves to possess above-average ability in performing the task. On the other hand, as individuals become more skilled in a particular task, they may mistakenly believe that they possess below-average ability in performing those tasks because they may assume that all others possess equal or greater ability. In other words, “the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others.” (source)
And haven’t we all seen that lately? Let’s look at a recent example right here in the good ole USA.
Those who haven’t lived like the rest of us are the ones shouting the loudest.
Let’s start with the current gun control debate.
We have high school kids who think they are experts on policy, firearms, and the Constitution, smugly telling us how clueless they believe we are.
We have movie stars who make millions from movies where they shoot people and who are protected by armed security guards, telling us that we law-abiding citizens who have guns are vicariously responsible for every school shooting that has ever happened.
We have wealthy city dwellers who live in buildings with doormen telling the rest of us that we’re nuts for wanting to protect ourselves.
And all of these people who want to loudly tell the rest of us how to live our lives have one thing in common: they are completely out of touch with the real world.
When you live in your guarded castles, you don’t have to worry about defending yourself from a rapist who might break in through your bedroom window. When you’re a kid, you can’t fathom the vast responsibility one feels as a parent to protect one’s children from home invaders or kidnappers. When you haven’t yet gone out there and lived your life with jobs and crime and financial instability, you have no idea what it’s really like for the average American.
And yet, these out-of-touch people are the ones screaming the loudest that only they know what is right for America.
And that’s where the Dunning-Kruger effect comes into play.
Back in 1999, social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University performed tests on some subjects and discovered that in many cases, the lower the performance of a subject, the higher their confidence was that they had done well. They published their findings in a paper entitled, “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.”
In an article by David Dunning called “We Are All Confident Idiots,” he wrote of his studies:
In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, 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.
This isn’t just an armchair theory. A whole battery of studies conducted by myself and others have confirmed that people who don’t know much about a given set of cognitive, technical, or social skills tend to grossly overestimate their prowess and performance, whether it’s grammar, emotional intelligence, logical reasoning, firearm care and safety, debating, or financial knowledge. College students who hand in exams that will earn them Ds and Fs tend to think their efforts will be worthy of far higher grades; low-performing chess players, bridge players, and medical students, and elderly people applying for a renewed driver’s license, similarly overestimate their competence by a long shot. (source)
Hmmm….that sounds familiar.
And the way Dunning applies this to politics vividly demonstrates why we have the polarization we’re currently experiencing in the US.
Some of our most stubborn misbeliefs arise not from primitive childlike intuitions or careless category errors, but from the very values and philosophies that define who we are as individuals. Each of us possesses certain foundational beliefs—narratives about the self, ideas about the social order—that essentially cannot be violated: To contradict them would call into question our very self-worth. As such, these views demand fealty from other opinions. And any information that we glean from the world is amended, distorted, diminished, or forgotten in order to make sure that these sacrosanct beliefs remain whole and unharmed…
…Political and ideological beliefs, too, often cross over into the realm of the sacrosanct. The anthropological theory of cultural cognition suggests that people everywhere tend to sort ideologically into cultural worldviews diverging along a couple of axes: They are either individualist (favoring autonomy, freedom, and self-reliance) or communitarian (giving more weight to benefits and costs borne by the entire community); and they are either hierarchist (favoring the distribution of social duties and resources along a fixed ranking of status) or egalitarian (dismissing the very idea of ranking people according to status). According to the theory of cultural cognition, humans process information in a way that not only reflects these organizing principles, but also reinforces them. These ideological anchor points can have a profound and wide-ranging impact on what people believe, and even on what they “know” to be true.
It is perhaps not so surprising to hear that facts, logic, and knowledge can be bent to accord with a person’s subjective worldview; after all, we accuse our political opponents of this kind of “motivated reasoning” all the time. But the extent of this bending can be remarkable. In ongoing work with the political scientist Peter Enns, my lab has found that a person’s politics can warp other sets of logical or factual beliefs so much that they come into direct contradiction with one another. (source)
And most importantly:
Sacrosanct ideological commitments can also drive us to develop quick, intense opinions on topics we know virtually nothing about. (source)
This isn’t just about gun control, though.
This article isn’t just about the hot-button topic of gun control. It’s about how we’re living our everyday lives.
Here’s an example: People either love President Trump so much they are unwilling to see any wrongdoing or they despise him to the point that they are unwilling to recognize any right-doing. Most people’s analyses of the actions of the President are completely warped by their sacrosanct ideologies of whether he is “good” or “bad.” They don’t weigh the merits of the actions – instead, they judge them from a place of deeply committed cognitive bias.
The same thing is true for many topics:
- Illegal immigration
- Freedom of speech
- Political ideologies
- Economic theories
- Gay rights
- The right to bear arms
- The bathroom drama at Target
All of us – myself included – can look at the list above and immediately say whether we are for or against these things, and what our specific belief is – but do we honestly know the details of these topics? Are our opinions sourced from cognitive bias or fact?
I have biases. You have them. We all do. However, the ability to recognize your own cognitive bias and not useit as “evidence” in a debate is the gold standard of intelligence.
This isn’t something that is going to change.
It’s completely normal for us to base our opinions on our own moral beliefs. As Dunning wrote, we are, at heart, either individualist or communitarian, hierchist or egalitarian. These are core attributes that would be difficult, if not impossible, to change.
But what we CAN do is make a conscious effort to catch ourselves when we make rapid judgment calls without the facts. We can educate ourselves on both sides of an issue and make an effort to use facts instead of feelings in our arguments.
What we CANNOT do is expect everyone to play by these rules. But that’s okay because by understanding how an opposing view was developed, we can use that to fuel our own arguments. We can call out the cognitive biases. What we can’t expect is for facts to change their deeply held beliefs, no matter how ignorant those beliefs might be.
We can correct the lack of information, but we can’t really expect someone with a confident, sacrosanct opinion to change their minds. They’ll hold on to a belief even after it is proven factually incorrect because, as Dunning said, “We are all confident idiots.” Remember, facts have nothing to do with why they have their points of view.
The good news is that there are folks in the middle, who may not have a deeply held opinion on hot-button topics. These are the folks who can be reached by logic and facts. It’s nearly impossible to battle confident ignorance, but with facts, you can influence people who are undecided.
If you ask me what is going to be the end of our civilization, the rampant epidemic of Dunning-Kruger seems to be the most likely cause. Let’s not be guilty of this confident ignorance ourselves. Let’s vow to inoculate ourselves with facts instead of enabling ourselves with emotional biases.
Hat tip to Suzanne
I wrote a total of two blog posts 10 years ago on my eponymous blog that describes my encyclopedic knowledge of everything so I am fully qualified to say that this is the worst blog post ever in the history of our galaxy.
Actually, I am quite chagrined and and feel justly chastised but I am glad to learn something about myself. We all have blind spots and this exposed one of mine. Good job and keep the information coming, heaven knows I need it!
Excellent article. Thank you.
This article brings to mind those wise words of Aristotle:
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
Nothing like a little open-mindedness in pursuit of peace and unity…
But we have to be careful that we are not so openminded that our brains fall out.
Sadly, logic has been pushed to the side in political discourse by the Alinsky Rules. The environment is not about discourse but by shutting down the opposing view “By Any Means Necessary” even if that is done by Media or social media suppression.
If you keep using logic against people who deliberately choose to use illogic against you, you will lose. You have to understand their methodology to combat it.
This is a real challenge.
“Never argue with a stupid person. They’ll quickly drag you down to their level and best you from experience.” –MARK TWAIN
“You’ve got to get up P R E T T Y early in the morning, if you don’t want to sleep late.” –TIMMY’S MOM
Yes, Alinsky and Marx (and Mao) are today’s heroes of the the Far Left. They (students) were never taught logic or to think for themselves while getting a public and/or university education. If the student wants to graduate, he/she must be a sponge and parrot what they’re are told. No cognitive thought required. The students hold the views of their instructors, but really can’t elucidate why that view should prevail. Simply ask them as to why they hold that view. They can’t tell you why. They simply have a list of talking points not to be deviated from.
And according to Dunning-Kruger, the less they know about a subject the more they think their view is correct.
You sure assume an awful lot. I was taught logic in public, trade, and college schools. Sometimes in my free time I even enjoy solving various logic puzzles. It’s one of my interests. I also favor leftist ideas, but not because I was taught them. In fact, I had no classes whatsoever that generated or enforced any of those thoughts. If anything made me question the greed of capitalist society, it was the Christian teachings of my Catholic upbringing. My strong sense of morality combined with skill in logical procedures is why I hold my views.
Please, though, continue your hypocritical assumptions, since you obviously know so much about leftism and leftists.
Leftists are control freaks that usually mean do as I say not as I do. Some who aren’t liberals are like this, depending on what they are arguing about, Can’t much reason with them as they cannot use logic. This is why Hubby and I (retirees) are social recluses and have few like minded friends. Sometimes you have to “dump” old friends and even relatives who got in the stupid mode, because they waste your time and energy. Folks don’t be afraid to dump others. Debating for ex: the gov. run 501c3 churches. Even tho’ people may know that most clergy must be politically correct to get a tax exempion, they still support and attend these social apostate churches. Another main issue, stupid parents send their kids to gov. schools, then complain about teachings on alternate lifestyles. The Muslim issue is also an issue meaning right or wrong no compromise. Dumping folks means not taking calls, returning emails. and blocking numbers. Soon they should get the message. If you run into them just say I’m busy, pursuing hobbies, new friends or helping a parent, then leave. Yaay, last week I blocked two numbers and put two people on my stupid loser list.
Some of the most annoying among my friends and family are the ‘askholes’, always seeking my advice and then setting about to do the exact opposite of whatever that advice might happen to be.
Timmy: I would distance myself, stop calling or communicating. Don’t answer emails, etc. They will soon get the message. People need to be pruned out that waste your time and energy. It takes effort and maybe some resentment.
Well written and researched. Also fascinating though not in the ancient Roman sense. I truly appreciate what you have posted here, I learned a lot.
Excellent!! If this makes sense to you then you should look up an old article by Don Harkins in the Idaho Observer from many years ago. It’s called EIGHT VEILS and is part of my religion. I’ve turned to it over the years when I was downhearted over the state of the world or disappointed in people who choose not to understand. Great work, Daisy!!
Absolutely on target!
Three things come to mind:
1) Professing themselves to be wise, they became as fools.
2) It’s better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt. (Mark Twain)
3) Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free!
Thanks for the article – I learned something that can go along with what I already knew about cognitive dissonance.
It is better to be divided by the truth than to be united by error.
It’s better to have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy, as well, truth be told (sigh).
Yes, well, depending upon certain (unfortunate) circumstance, the truth can also get you 15 to life (or MORE, if they take a notion to poke around further).
Why would anyone expend this much time and effort analyzing the dynamics of an idiot?
Because it is important to understand your environment for your own well being.
I think you missed the main point, DiamondEyedJack. The point is that we all need to watch ourselves to keep from BEING the idiot while understanding the motivations of others who don’t think as we do. 🙂
And once we define idiot, it is important to recognize that not all thinking and not all motivations are equal.
“Idiot” is a bit harsh don’t you think?
I prefer to use the word “Executive”.
I’d answer that but I don’t have the time. (sigh)
What a great piece. You see this in daily life, I’ve called them label makers. They desire to slap a label that fits their paradigm on you or the situation immediately. It’s usually an opinion mixed with some new meme that has been set upon us i.e. outside the box. A slogan from a pizza company that now has become on “urban legend” of sorts. Keep up great work
People tend to become much more sober in their thinking and conclusions when there are serious consequences for their words and actions.
Oh, so you’ve met my mother in law, have you?
Spot on Daisy
While I’m the first one to admit (and rather cheerfully, I might add, he hee) that I might not always be right, I am, nevertheless, NEVER wrong. Ah but YES, there was a time (a blip-on-the-sreen, so to speak) when I THOUGHT I was wrong… but wouldn’t you know, turns out I was incorrect. So you see, I was right all along, just as anticipated.
As a flight instructor I have heard numerous people say they are sure they could fly an airplane if the pilot was ever disabled. Never flew one before in their life, but they are certain they could do it. I mean, how hard could it be?
Absolutely correct Jay. That goes for everything from painter, to plumber, to surgeon. I maintain flight simulators. I have had the occasion to tell military instructor pilots; ” yes sir. I can fly a plane. Can you fix a simulator?”
I think there is a corollary to this theory… when a person knows a little about one subject, be it shooting or preserving food or whatever, they tend to view themselves as an expert on all subjects.
It never ceases to amaze me that people who can’t even tell you who the last 10 presidents were, anything else about history or who do not know the simplest things about economics think they understand world politics. I am all for people having opinions, but please, let’s not have our own facts.
Excellent post… when this research first came out and I was explaining to a friend that the problem with stupid people is that they do not understand they are stupid, his response was hilarious, he said, I can’t believe the government funded that research.
Great article, Daisy! And so true! There is a book out (also on Kindle) called “You are not so smart” by David McRaney that goes into this and forty seven other similar things. It’s a great read as well. Have any of you here ever read it? It’s as mind blowing as this article!
And, no, I didn’t write it or know the author!… 🙂
Oh, thank you! I’ll have to read that book, Jon. 🙂
well, it’s a study that shows that people can be and are @&&holes. always are. always have been.
i think what’s scarier to me is the absolute need for “certain” people to ban whatever they find offensive or you fill in the blank……
this group changes over time so no one group is the villain here.
it’s the need to be a control freak.
As God tells man, “waste not your time with a fool.” You cannot change these types, you cannot debate or argue with them, they are fools, blind fools at that. They are also dead but don’t know it.
Gun control. Controlling guns. The bib dumb Americans still can’t get it right. When the Constitution was written the vast majority of people in America lived in a rural environment. Guns were primarily used for hunting food, or in an emergency protecting yourself from an enemy. You also had to have skill to operate a gun (especially when you had to load each individual musket ball yourself). Even when rifles and revolvers became common you still had to have skill to aim and hit a target with the 6-12 bullets loaded in the gun.
Now every average American thinks they need an automatic rifle that can shoot 300 bullets a minute.Are the deer shooting back? Are you hoping that if you spray EVERYTHING with bullets that you’ll eventually hit your target?
Perhaps the best thing to do is to give every American that wants one a free arsenal of automatic weapons and then charge them $10000 per bullet. You’d be a lot more careful chosen when to shoot.
Oh, and by the way, yes, I think if you want to hunt you should be able to own a hunting rifle. Like target shooting? Own a gun designed for that., but you don’t really need a military style weapon that can fire off hundreds of bullets. Do you? If you do, explain why.
Ryan, how much experience have you had with deadly force encounters? Do you have a wife and children?
Case in point.
The second amendment is a fourth check and balance, although it is never discussed as such. It is there to protect the citizenry against a government run wild, i.e. a dictatorship or military coup or a government takeover by citizens run wild, or invaders or …
Obviously you have never been on the business end of a gun …
You are aware that automatic rifles in the hands of the “average American,” is illegal, unless certain applications, taxes, and safety protocols are met right?
The assertion that “Now every average American thinks they need an automatic rifle that can shoot 300 bullets a minute.” is absurd.
When I was shooting NRA High Power rifle, a target rifle competition, I shot a National Match (i.e. target) M1A. While at Camp Perry, the predominate rifle on the firing line: The AR15. Generally with one or more NM upgrades, but they were target rifles non-the-less.
The term “military style-rifle” is a MSM meme, used by the ignorant and uneducated. A “military style-rifle” has select fire, single shot, three round burst and or fully automatic. Features all of which are only available to the military.
A civilian can obtain a “military style-rifle,” but, again, has to go through all the applications, pay a tax, and meet safety guide lines.
Utterly and completely off target, but you have obviously never actually read our Constitution nor the Federalist papers. The 2nd Amendment has precisely zero to do with hunting or target shooting. Our right to bear arms was written when the average citizen owned weapons EXACTLY THE SAME as were possessed by the government. Many citizens owned the current version of cannons for the time, the Continental Army leased current ships of war from private individuals.
And the only weapon I have ever seen that was able to cycle at 300 rounds per minute was a Gatling gin mounted on a helicopter. That’s 5 round per second, and I don’t know anyone that can fire a semi-auto weapon at that rate regardless of what add-ons they might possess.
All able bodied Americans, who aren’t in elected office, should be armed as well as or better than the standing army so that they are a check against tyrannical government. That is the purpose of the Second Ammendment. It wearies me to keep having to point out the absolute truth of this foundational fact of the Constitution but I keep doing it. I suppose it might be productive to try to understand your disagreement with an absolute truth but I expect that would be a waste of time.
You say the same ignorant things that all gun grabbers say, such as talking about deer hunting, as if that’s the only reason to have a firearm. You ignore the tens of millions of Americans who own semi-automatic rifles but have never, and will never, commit a crime with one. You ignore the FACT that the bulk of shootings in the USA are committed by individuals who are either gang-related, or other repeat felonious offenders who use handguns gotten illegally. You ignore historical realities about disarmed populaces, and the violence perpetrated upon them by tyrannical governments. To sum up, you are either a troll, a political operative of some sort, or a blithering moron who has little to no knowledge of the subject of firearms, nor crime in the USA involving firearms.
Thank you Ryan Soo
For proving this article to be 100% accurate . You are a galvanized example
Truther – I wish this site had upvote capability…..!
Explain why to whom, YOU? Some government official? Some authority figure? So long as it’s within my right, of which is stated clearly in the second amendment to the US Constitution, my ‘need’ is none of anyone else’s concern. That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact. You can prattle on and on about ammo and assault styles and different shapes and sizes, but your obfuscation(s) will NOT obscure the cold, hard fact that 70+ million unarmed, human souls were murdered in the most hideously agonizing manner by their own governments in the 20th century. I don’t own firearms so that I can go hunting, I won firearms as a means to an end. That end is my ability to kill someone BEFORE they kill me.
You just proved the point of the article.
The 2 nd Amendment was put in the Bill of Rights for fighting a Authoritative and Tyrannical Government, not Hunting, as well as ensuring having armed militias for National Defense. Any study on the Writings of Founding Fathers, will reveal This was their intent.
They possess AI intelligence. That is Arrogance and Ignorance.
Great article and analysis. I’m sure we have observed this at some time in our careers. I have noticed that people with the least experience seem to have the most concrete views.
Conservative blogger reads the Wikipedia page on the Dunning-Kruger effect, and enlists it as proof that everything she believes is absolutely true
Irony at its finest!
1) Not conservative.
2) The irony is, you missed the point. Which, let me help you, is that we ALL need to watch ourselves when we get too smug about the veracity of our opinions. Read that sentence until you understand.
Dont bother Daisy.
So-called Voice of Reason is a plague of the prepper community.
Excellent, Daisy! It strikes me that understanding the Dunning-Kruger Effect is a powerful argument for an individualist orientation to society. We are barely competent at running our own lives, and are absolutely incompetent at running others’. And those who THINK they’re competent at making rules for everyone else are the least competent.
What firearms were being used in 1791, when the 2nd amendment was written?
It DOES NOT MATTER!
Get that simple concept through your thick skull. The 2nd, as well as the entire US Constitution, was conceived and written explicitly to constrain the government – NOT to constrain WE the PEOPLE.
ALL the arms that were in common use at the time were assumed to be in possession of the citizens. That same concept applies at this time as well. Under the Founders vision, if you could afford to acquire it you were allowed to possess it. If I can afford an Abrams M1A1, or a Roosevelt class aircraft carrier, under the constitution, as originally written, I am allowed to possess it.
Once again, your ignorance it truly amazing.
The clearly biased article link you provided is only partially accurate (no pun intended), as to prove it obvious bias slant.
The British did use the Brown Bess smooth bore musket. Much cheaper to produce, especially if you have to maintain a standing army.
However, many Americans/colonists/frontiersmen owned the Pennsylvania or Kentucky rifle. These had true rifled barrels, being much more accurate.
This would be a technological advancement in weapons design, something not lost on the Founding Fathers as it gave them an advantage, or in military terms, a force multiplier.
The argument that the Founding Fathers could not envision technological advancements in small arms design is a absurd one.
They could not envision the atomic bomb, cell phones, the internet, the ISS, or a myrid of other technological advancements either.
But they did know advancements did happen (e.g. the printing press, telescopes other optic advances, improvements in ship building technologies).
This is an amazing bit of projection coming from the people who elected President Dunning-Kruger. Face it: you put someone who represents everything you stand for — callous selfishness, unhinged psychopathy, and unabashed hypocrisy — into the highest office in the land. Eat your crow, right-wing nutjobs.
Hey, Vaylon! Psst – not right wing! When will people learn to recognize a libertarian point of view? Things aren’t always right and left, black and white. So, I guess the projection here is on YOU, who misses all those shades in the middle.
Well, as usual, nobody actually answered the question (although cruella kind of did, albeit accidently). The question was, “Why does the average citizen NEED a gun that can shoot 300 bullets a minute”?
The answer, of course, is that they don’t. Nobody does. Not anybody average, that is. A member of the military going off to battle in an active war-zone? Sure. Take two. Anybody else? No. And I would take the question right on down to “why would anyone NEED a gun that can shoot 30 bullets a minute”? Or maybe even 20.
Cruella, however, offered a clue, and that is “If the 2nd amendment says I can have one, then I want one”. And that’s really the crux of the entire American gun argument. All of the talk about guns, gun manufacturers, magazine capacities, automatic versus semi-automatic weapons, what this gun does versus that gun, etc is all just blather. And the 2nd amendment is the document that gets tacked on at the top of the argument.
If “someone” says I can have one, then I want one. That’s pretty much the American way – in just about everything, actually.
To protect ourselves from people like you.
Correction: To protect ourselves from ignorant people like you.
Ryan soo: My point EXACTLY! “Someone’ said that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t matter, and so you base your entire argument upon that. And yes, they actually DO pin that amendment upon every one of their arguments. Perhaps it’s because all laws written in the United States must fit within the framework of that particular document? Even if it flies-in-the-face of your FEELINGS? My-oh-MY…. all these really clever talking points you’ve memorized, spewed by talking heads for the consumption of the braindead masses, and it seems as though NOBODY appreciates your ‘Polly want a cracker’ ability to regurgitate them on cue. (sigh) You want an oompah-LOOMPAH, and you want it……NOW!!
Again. Another futile attempt to get a point through to the sites shining example of the articles main point.
THE US Constitutions sole purpose is to prevent blathering idiots such as yourself, as well as the even more idiotic elected “representatives” from interfering with the INDIVIDUAL citizens primary, God-given right: to be left the %^& alone!
Persons such as yourself, primarily on the left, but not always, are adamant that they , and only they, are competent to run the lives of every other person residing within this republic. And you are utterly and completely mistaken. You are most assuredly NOT competent to do so, and are a sterling example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.
So please explain now: why do you, (and others such as yourself), assume that your opinions of what mechanical devices, intended for whatever uses, should have any weight in allowing me to possess such devices, assuming that I do no harm with them?
And if I cause no harm why should you care? and why should I pay any attention?
Also explain: why should your opinions be enforced using the same devices you wish to deprive me of?
Just another wanna-be tyrant from the left is my immediate assumption…
Hi Daisy. I’ve enjoyed many of the articles you’ve written on this site. They run the gamut from gardening, preserving food, providing yourself with clean drinking water, medical issues, self protection, etc, right on up to how to survive natural disasters, man-made financial crises and nuclear war.
And yet, running throughout the vast majority of your articles is the same recurring question: “Why aren’t more people preparing?”
I mean, the information is certainly out there. You find it and post it on this site. You provide links to articles, products, services and methods to help people through all these kinds of scenarios and yet, few people act on them.
I think the reason most people in the United States don’t act comes from a deeply ingrained sense of American Entitlement. That sort of smug attitude that “We’re the best country in the world! We’re the greatest generation that has ever lived! Woo Hoo!”
I think this sense of entitlement prevents Americans from preparing. Just about all Americans feel that “There will always be more”. More oil, more coal, more softwood lumber, more electricity, more food, more water…….it goes on and on. Maybe that why America (whose population only makes up 5% of the world’s population) uses about 25% of the world’s resources. There’s always gonna be more.
If you went to the average American today and told them “You have to conserve” they’d laugh in your face. If you told them that “You have to go without” or “You can’t buy that new car, or cell phone, or go out to dinner” they’d be outraged. How dare you! If I have the money I’ll buy what I want!
This attitude of self entitlement isn’t new. It goes right back to the arrival of the first European settlers in America. Cut down the forests, dig up the minerals, strip the land clean and when it gets to polluted to use (or you don’t happen to like the “new arrivals” from Europe) you just head over the hill to the next unspoiled valley. So why should the average American prepare? There’s always more.
Daisy, maybe you could write an article about this. I’d like to hear your views.
God gave mankind free will. Each of us has the freedom to choose our own actions. That’s what our whole system of government is all about. Giving the citizens the right to make our own choices. Unfortunately, many people make unwise choices, i.e. telling other people how they must think or act (political correctness), interfering with others choices by attempting to “shout down” opinions you don’t agree with, self damage through alcohol, recreational drug use, overeating and many more. Some of these choices are made through ignorance and some through believing propaganda (lies). The simple thing is that I don’t have to do what you want me to do (not own guns), I am free to make that decision for myself. I own guns so I can defend my God given right to make my own choices as affirmed in the Constitution. I choose to pray daily that that the left and people like you never gain the power to make me defend my rights through the use of force. But defend them I will should it ever become necessary.
Now, to answer your question, I believe most people don’t choose to prep out of ignorance. They don’t understand the responsibility inherit in free will. They don’t understand the responsibilities of being a parent and helping to take care of their family. I believe that prepping is a responsibility I have to my family. I choose to fulfill that responsibility.
The left teaches “if it feels good, do it”. That is the most corrupt statement ever uttered. You and everybody on the left choose to tell me what I can and can not do because it makes you and them feel good (emotion). I make my own choices based on what I think my responsibilities are (logic, reason and feeling of self worth) and I don’t care what you or the left thinks about it.
There’s an old saying that “actions speak louder than words”. I put this into practice by doing the following:
A) Make a list of all the things that the rich and powerful tell you — through their sock puppets in Hollywood, the media, the schools, etc etc — are “BAD FOR YOU” and of course only a stupid person would want them.
B) Next, make a list of all the things that the rich and powerful either already have, or are scarfing up as fast as they can get their greedy claws on ’em.
C) Then, compare those lists to see where they match up. THOSE ARE THE THINGS YOU NEED TO GET YOUR HANDS ON.
D) Here is my list of where “A” and “B” match up(so far)
5) land, especially the kind you can grow food on
6) water, and rights to it
7) an alternative to the bullshit government run schools
8) the ability, will power and opportunity to learn how to get all the stuff listed above
I’m not against you owning a gun. I don’t care if you own a gun. You want to own an arsenal of guns, I don’t care. I just wonder why you’d need a gun that can shoot, oh, let’s say 30 bullets a minute. I mean, 30 bullets in a single minute? Could you get by on 10? That’s a bullet every 6 seconds. If you’re a decent shot, you should be able to bring down wild game with one bullet, maybe two.
But let’s take the argument further. let’s say every American can have a gun, and every gun can only shoot one bullet. That’s it, one bullet and then reload. Now, if someone bursts into your Church or classroom and fires off his bullet, how long do you have until he can shoot again? One minute. You wouldn’t even have to shoot back, just rush him and tackle him to the ground. There, everyone is equal and everyone gets a gun.
Now, on to poor choices. Yes, everyone has freedom of will, and some people make poor decisions, but as long as there is endlessly MORE then who cares? Endless forests? Take as much as you want. Endless fish in the sea? Harvest as much as you want. Throw half of it away! Who cares, it’s endless!
The problem comes when things aren’t so endless, and that’s the problem that torments Americans. They’ve become so used to having whatever they want whenever they want (and in unending quantities) that they feel “entitled” to have it (and they are outraged when they don’t get it).
The United States is blessed with a wealth of natural resources. There isn’t a single natural resource on this planet that isn’t present in sufficient quantities somewhere in the USA. However, America has to import more of practically everything in order to meet demand (hence, 5% of the world’s population using 25% of the world’s resources).
This is becoming a problem for you because you’ve now got a President that feels that “America comes 1st”, and in order to make America first he’s busy tearing up trade agreements. He doesn’t like the trade deals with Asia, Canada, Mexico or Europe. He thinks America got a bad deal. He wants Americans to buy American. Well, what would happen if the rest of the world gets sick of the United States and says “OK, you want to be America First? Then be America alone” and they stopping sending you their products and natural resources? You’d have to get by on only what your own country produces, and that’s not enough.
Take softwood lumber, for example. The US imports about 30% of it’s softwood lumber (for construction) from Canada. If Canada stops shipping it to you then you’ll have to make some changes. Either replace that 30% from your own forests (why aren’t you doing that now?) or build 30% less buildings. That’s a big loss to the construction industry. Lot’s of job losses.
Or how about the Arabs cut off your oil supply. Again. Ready for a massive jump in gasoline pricing? Or how about Mexico decides to stop shipping you fruits and vegetables in January? Are you growing enough in California and Florida to supply the whole country?
Maybe if Americans can curb their insatiable desire for MORE they can become SELF sufficient. But I fear your sense of SELF entitlement will only get in the way.
You live in a fantasy world.
1. The U.S. is full of 30 rounds a minute weapons, and no matter what laws you pass you will never get them all.
2. The U.S. does not have all the natural resources it needs. There is no endless more of anything.
3. While a few people many have “endless” money the rest do not. I certainly don’t, but I get by. Most importantly the best things in life can’t be bought.
4. Let the rest of the world cut us off, we will get by.
5. We buy what we want, we don’t steal it. Unlike the Soviet Union and most countries throughout history. We voluntarily withdrew from lands we controlled during WWII and helped the conquered nations rebuild. The Soviet Union occupied the lands they controlled until it collapsed.
Get your head in the real world.
The weapon of choice was the “Brown Bess”, a smoothbore musket that was used both by British soldiers and by American civilians. So in other words, when the Second Amendment was adopted, ordinary people had military grade weapons. So following your bullshit “logic”, all of us should get to have the same weapons as active soldiers currently serving in the U.S. military.
Feel free to sputter like an idiot, while I remind you that the computer/phone/tablet your mommy is helping you to type on didn’t exist when the 1st Amendment was first adopted. Neither did any part of the Internet. You wanna go back to using parchment and quill pens, knock yourself out.
What’s that? You’re still here, waving your tiny fists and screeching like a baby in a month old diaper? Stamping your feet and having a tantrum about “banning all those yucky guns”? Oh sure, the likes of you are gonna “ban guns”. Just like Prohibition “banned” alcohol.
Feel free to keep whining like a little bitch, but we are free Americans and you have absolutely no chance at all against us. But please, keep on crying: it will remind all decent people what we are fighting against
Ah yes, “Free Americans”. “Free”, I suppose, because you have rights. Well Sammy, as a free American you do NOT have rights, you have “privileges”, and if you’d like to understand the difference then go to Google and type in “Japanese Americans 1941” and you’ll see how a lot of peaceful, law-abiding US citizens had all they property taken away from them, their homes, businesses, money and possessions confiscated and then were rounded up and forced into internment camps – all because their ancestors happened to come from a country that the United States was then at war with.
So no, you don’t have “rights”. Your “rights” can change at any moment.
Now as to prohibition, the Government decided to take alcohol away from its citizens and enacted laws to do that. While those laws were in effect, you couldn’t buy or drink alcohol. Disobey the law, go to jail. You wouldn’t want to break the law, would you?
And how about segregation? No blacks drinking from “White Only” fountains? That was a law once. As was women not being allowed to vote, or Americans not being allowed to own gold, or gay people not being allowed to marry…..it goes on and on. Laws change, one way or the other.
So, as to your gun. Could it be taken away from you? Sure it could. You bet it could. However, as I’ve mentioned before, I think you owning a gun is fine. Go hunting with my blessing. Protect your family and property. I don’t have a problem with that. I just don’t think anyone really needs a gun that can shoot more than 6 bullets a minute. And I managed to tell you my opinion, without having to resort to any “labeling” of you or name calling. Can you do the same?
Great post! I have been looking for a way to explain what I inherently knew was true. It lays out exactly what is going on with the left today; I would consider quite a few people that are of the “ignorant but confident” crowd to mostly be from this side of the isle. It’s not black & white of course, but being that I critic my abilities & results mercilessly, i’d say my opinion is worthy.
Just wish there was something we could these people to snap them out of it! Hmmmm, the red pill?!
BTW, I re-posted your article on my blog.
Thank you for reposting, Dean!
This study proves it’s own point. It is Stupid, but thinks it is “Smart”.
Although it makes some good points, it fails to consider the complexity of People. Rather it is trying to place them into some preconceived, ideological boxes.
Today the problem is not just people grasping upon the points that fit their emotional feelings, but that the true facts are being hidden from us. Worse yet, it is the peers and academic groups associated with the Authors of the study that are used to perpetuate how Society responds to both their own and the Government’s Propaganda.
A perfect example is the response to the Covid 19 “crises”. The average person was bombarded with false “Science” and “Facts”, by supposed “experts” and “trusted advisors” (such as doctors and medical staff) at every turn.
The real facts were being buried, maligned and suppressed, making it hard to find the truth. We still don’t know all of the real truth and probably never will.
So how can one be “smart”, if there are not true facts or knowledge to go on?
This is not limited to Covid 19, but includes everything in our daily existence; From the Hunter Biden Laptop, to the Trump-Russia Steele dossier and even to the 2020 election and the Jan 6 Protest. It has been thrust upon us as “Common Core” education, the “normalization” of what was once, deviant sexual practices, multiple “genders” and an assortment of other Socially destructive subjects.
It even includes a lot of misinformation that is put out on various Survival and Prepping Sites and in much of the gear they promote or sell.
Some of these people are not “dumb”, but just accepting the narrative they have been given and are seeking the path of least resistance. Misplaced trust is the greater issue.
Who do you believe?
Are they telling the Truth or the Whole story?
Do THEY even know the whole story?
These are the questions we must ask and find the answers to. Logic (or what passes for Logic) does not always bring one to the right answer. Intuition and Emotion also have roles to play.
I would say that the truly “dumb”, are those who try to make things simplistic. They try to boil it all down to it’s essence and put into a nice, neat, little box.
Life is messy, it is not neat, it is complex, never simple. One size,(concept or idea) never truly “fits all”.
What a great response, Mic! I enjoyed reading Daisy’s post and your response.
I witnessed a classic Dunning-Kruger moment last year during house construction with a Sheetrock taper. He did a terrible job, and when we asked him to touch up the worst imperfections he spent a few hours making more errors, then declared his work finished (he called his work “tits”, or perfect). We spent the next 2 weeks (with the aid of a competent taper) reclaiming the walls, and our first taper isn’t invited back. There’s some serious alkie issues going on with him, I suppose there’s a correlation.
Fun! An article on Dunning-Kruger exposes many in the comments falling into Dunning-Kruger!