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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:49 AM
Original message
A new study shows that Americans are Idiots
Remember how Democrats always refuse to fight back against smears because "The American people are too smart to fall for that"?

No, they aren't. In fact, Americans are no longer capable of arriving at opinions through actual thought:

Americans have a more negative view of government today than they did a decade ago, or even a few years ago. Most say it focuses on the wrong things and lack confidence that it can solve big domestic problems; this general anti-Washington sentiment is helping to fuel a potential Republican takeover of Congress next month.

But ask people what they expect the government to do for themselves and their families, and a more complicated picture emerges.

http://brilliantatbreakfast.blogspot.com/2010/10/new-study-shows-that-americans-are.html
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. I have noted the anti thinking league since high school in the 1970s
I never did understand how these folks can be so simplemindedly ignorant.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-13-10 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #1
22. Many of the "Popular Kids" have always been "Charming" but Simplemindedly Ignorant..
Going back to even the 60's...and probably before.....! K&R!
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Better Today Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Just reading the short clip,
I will read the rest, but just right off, I have to say that lack of confidence that government is doing it's job is not the same as being anti-government. Additionally, to me, anti-Washington is referring to the Administration and the Congress, not the actual workings of the government on the service level.

So it is now somehow idiotic to recognize that the politicians we elect don't give a shit about us, ie to be anti-Washington?

And/or to recognize that much of our system of government isn't doing for the people but doing instead for corporations and the top 5%, ie have a lack of confidence in government?
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
3. Too many people let the sound-bytes make their decisions for them
They never look beyond phrases like "smaller government" to understand exactly what that means.
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swilton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
4. The beliefs in creationism/rapture
and the denial of global warming says it all.
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awoke_in_2003 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. +1000...
if you can believe in the supernatural you can believe in anything.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
5. I too here again ask "WHY doesn't the media do their job?
when they come up with the crap, for example, "I want my country back", why doesn't the media say "what part of want my country back do you mean?" Do you mean go back to the invasion of neutral countries and the war spending associated with Bush's invasion, or sending jobs overseas, the deregulation of business, trying to privatize all our social programs to give corporations more and more of the pubic money?" But I think you all get what I mean. The damn dummies that come up with this crap listen to the poopaganda spewed from fox and stuff it in their brains with the rest of the straw.

How can the people of Michigan want a republican senator. When Bush and his republican gave tax breaks and help to send all those good automotive jobs out of the country. When the Democrats help to bail out the auto companies and same a lot of the jobs. How come -- tell me -- how come they want a republican who by the way didn't want the bail outs.

I think Democrats are used to sitting back and saying, I won't use the type of rhetoric they republicans use, but I think they have to. They have to slam and they have the proof of the screw ups the republicans made that led to this mess. I grant you Obama and the Democratic Senate (the House did OK) could have fought harder, but they did get some things thru. But we want our congress people to fight for us, and it that means go vocal and kick ass I'm all for it. I bet you all are too.
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 05:35 AM
Response to Reply #5
33. Because rich people own the media.
And pundits say what they're told to say because they want to keep getting a paycheck. That's why.
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Flashmann Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
6.  study shows that Americans are Idiots
I've been saying the same thing for 40 years......
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MyUncle Donating Member (798 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. I think there are lots of smart people on DU, most are Americans.
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. There's a huge lack of the ability to think critically.
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rrneck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
7. Americans are, by and large, narcissists.
We want to see what the federal government will do for us. And we want to see it happen directly, not as a result of an overall structural change that allows us all to prosper. That's because we are a nation of consumers who are used to being told how special we are as individuals and having entire industries devoted to tailoring products to the whims of our individual taste.

We are bereft of compassion and generosity on the right and the left. Personal crusades masquerade as civic duty and partisan umbrage masquerades as morality.

We have been so inundated by materialism and consumerism we have each become little corporations of our own, leveraging whatever we can for whatever we can get. And if we can leverage the suffering of others to enhance our own feelings of superiority, well, that's a free ego boost.

The problem is not us or them. It's me.
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COLGATE4 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. H. L. Mencken said it brilliantly 90 years ago: "Nobody ever
went broke overestimating the stupidity of the American public". Hasn't gotten any better in the ensuing 90 years.
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freebrew Donating Member (478 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Hell, even before Mencken,
P.T. Barnum told us: "there's a fool born every minute."

I think he under-estimated.
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jkirch Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. wasn't actually barnum.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
9. what's more annoying is not that people are idiots, it's that the ignorant are also the arrogant
it would be one thing if fools recognized the value of expertise, but they defiantly think not just that their opinion is equal to expert opinion but in fact that it's actually MORE important, correct, and significant than expert opinion.

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provis99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. and this study proves your point:
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zeos3 Donating Member (912 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. When stupid people don't know they're stupid.
Charles Darwin wrote; " Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge".


Check out this thread:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=385x505293


The DunningKruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes.<1> The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence: because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, 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."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:
tend to overestimate their own level of skill;
fail to recognize genuine skill in others;
fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;
recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.


Here is their paper on the topic.

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments
http://people.psych.cornell.edu/~dunning/publications/pdf/unskilledandunaware.pdf



Here is a follow up on the original work.

"One of the painful things about our time is that those
who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination
and understanding are filled with doubt and
indecision"
Bertrand Russell (1951)

Why the unskilled are unaware: Further explorations of (absent)
self-insight among the incompetent
http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~ehrlinger/Self_&_Social_Judgment/Ehrlinger_et_al_2008.pdf
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Citizen Worker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. A relative coined the following several years ago: "this is the only society where my
knowledge is equal to your ignorance." A clever turn of a phrase but true. However, there's also the vast corporate propaganda machine led by network "news" and there is, of course, the newspapers of record that routinely parrot inside the beltway propaganda. Heading that effort are the New York Times and Washington Post. Their job is to "manufacture consent" and they accomplish their mission over and over. We need only look at the invasion and occupation of Iraq and how much of the public was manipulated into supporting the long planned war. In the present the various propaganda organs are busy manipulating the public into believing that the deficit is the greatest threat to economic recovery and that more government spending will only add to the looming disaster.
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LongTomH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. This poem by William Butler Yeats is more relevant than ever!

The Second Coming



TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
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nunyabidness Donating Member (56 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. The DunningKruger effect
The DunningKruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the meta-cognitive ability to realize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority. This leads to the situation in which less competent people rate their own ability higher than more competent people. It also explains why actual competence may weaken self-confidence: because competent individuals falsely assume that others have an equivalent understanding. "Thus, 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."
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katty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
17. don't need an idiot 'study' - it's sooooo obvious
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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-11-10 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
20. Kick and Rec.
They needed a study to determine this?
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-13-10 07:49 PM
Response to Original message
21. Well...every time I turn on my TV...I wonder about that... K&R!
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L0oniX Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. There's something ironic about the popularity of American Idiot - Green Day
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-16-10 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
25. Well duh
Many Americans aren't too bright.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
26. I moved here from Canada
and even at fourteen years old I was astonished by the general idiocy. My (Canadian) mother described that idiocy as a "bizarre lack of curiosity" which, obviously leads to ignorance which in turn makes for really, really boring conversations. Mom wasn't talking politics but the general point is valid. People are ignorant because they are uninformed, and they're uninformed because they don't seem to care about much outside of their own tiny, little personal life.
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Concordia Donating Member (36 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. This is rather spot on.
I find the lack of curiosity strange, considering that so many Americans are college-educated (which is supposed to mean you've gained critical thinking skills...), but my own parents are prime examples of this. Neither one is stupid, but they simply don't care to learn anything more than is strictly necessary for their day to day lives of work and television. Many Americans get downright angry when faced with opportunities to learn new things.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. I would say that in many American schools, independent/critical thinking skills
are not only not taught but they are discouraged. I'm not sure what happened here, but it happened several decades ago and the sad state of just about every facet of American society is the result.
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queenjane Donating Member (258 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. Independent thinking skills might lead to challenging authority
Not exactly what our corporate masters want . . .
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queenjane Donating Member (258 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-29-10 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. You just described most people in my sphere
My relatives, my co-workers, my neighbors. Wave a book or newspaper in their general direction, and they recoil like Nosferatu from daylight. And unfortunately, they're stupid as well as intellectually incurious. Even if the media were to "do their jobs", these people wouldn't listen, or read. They simply don't care. One thing in our favor, most of the ones I know don't vote. That would require them rising up off their well-padded rear ends and going to a polling place, standing in line, and marking a ballot. You know--EFFORT.

The sad fact that voting participation is expected to be low because it may rain says it all about Americans. The absolute dumbest & laziest people on earth.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
29. They didn't need a study to figure that out.
Edited on Thu Oct-28-10 05:31 PM by alarimer
I've known it for years.

But it's because they do not teach critical thinking skills in schools, so people buy all kinds of snake oil, from religion and creation "science" to Republican talking points.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 09:31 PM
Response to Original message
30. "This is how an empire dies. And we are going to be around to see it."
Yep.
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southernyankeebelle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
31. It doesn't take a study to see that. Look around. I have always been a social democrat and believe
government should help their citizens because they pay taxes. I'm sure god would approve.
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zenprole Donating Member (288 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-28-10 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
32. What was the middle part
If there's a silver lining in this, it's the 'empire dies' part.

As Clarence Darrow once said, "I've never killed a bloodthirsty, self-absorbed and superior-minded pseudo-democracy, but I've read many an obituary with pleasure."

Great post. Thanks. Reminds me of Otto (A Fish Called Wanda)
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