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Old 10-27-2010, 04:26 PM   #21
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I think this can be reversed. Look what we, as a society, accomplished with smoking.
I can see the public service commercials now . . .

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Old 10-27-2010, 04:31 PM   #22
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I think this can be reversed. Look what we, as a society, accomplished with smoking. But it takes a will and critical mass - neither of which I see in the community around me.
Instead of a will to change, there is smug self satisfaction. We are better than everyone else!!! Our whole country seems to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:13 PM   #23
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Instead of a will to change, there is smug self satisfaction. We are better than everyone else!!! Our whole country seems to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
That's what I see. Willful ignorance is celebrated - and loudly too!

Interesting about the Dunning-Kruger effect - never heard of it (sure that's not just some famous Halloween character? )
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Dunning and Kruger themselves quote Charles Darwin ("Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge")
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:27 PM   #24
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Instead of a will to change, there is smug self satisfaction. We are better than everyone else!!! Our whole country seems to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
You Betcha!
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:31 PM   #25
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Instead of a will to change, there is smug self satisfaction. We are better than everyone else!!! Our whole country seems to suffer from the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
Well - according to the Wikipedia entry it is more of a North American phenomenon:
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Studies on the Dunning–Kruger effect tend to focus on American test subjects. Similar studies on European subjects show marked muting of the effect; studies on some East Asian subjects suggest that something like the opposite of the Dunning–Kruger effect operates on self-assessment and motivation to improve:

Regardless of how pervasive the phenomenon is, it is clear from Dunning's and others' work that many Americans, at least sometimes and under some conditions, have a tendency to inflate their worth. It is interesting, therefore, to see the phenomenon's mirror opposite in another culture. In research comparing North American and East Asian self-assessments, Heine of the University of British Columbia finds that East Asians tend to underestimate their abilities, with an aim toward improving the self and getting along with others.[14]
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:18 PM   #26
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Well - according to the Wikipedia entry it is more of a North American phenomenon:

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An interesting aspect of this is that in a sales and marketing oriented culture like ours, it isn't necessarily counterproducive to vastly overrate your abilities. A circumspect and perhaps modestly realistic assessment of your abilities and accomplishments may just mean that the other guy gets the job, or the sale, or the contract.

My Swedish friend says that after 30 years in the USA she still can't quite believe the way we are so confident about ourselves. Also, I have met a few young Swedish men through her. They seem the same, modest and matter of fact. Of course this is a small sample.

For years I have been kind of out of sync with others, as I usually don't assume that something that has proven hard for someone to accomplish- like make some business work, will be any more likely to work just because I buy the business and start running it myself. I figure, I think accurately, that they are about as likely to be more suited to the job than less suited, so on average I won't be able to make it work any better than they did.

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Old 10-28-2010, 10:10 AM   #27
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An interesting aspect of this is that in a sales and marketing oriented culture like ours, it isn't necessarily counterproducive to vastly overrate your abilities. A circumspect and perhaps modestly realistic assessment of your abilities and accomplishments may just mean that the other guy gets the job, or the sale, or the contract.

Ha
Interesting thought and I think you have a point. However, when I used to interview associate attorneys I would be put off by overconfidence. I liked to ask a question to get an answer like: "I don't know, but I do know how to find out." On the other hand, I know a few lawyers that ran for public office. The winners always exhibited strong self confidence. A couple of them were very weak as lawyers but had a strong following. One is a downright terrible lawyer and terrible manager but still gets elected. I don't know if the public doesn't care, doesn't know or doesn't believe that she is a terrible lawyer.
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:58 AM   #28
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Does that surprise anyone that people that run for public office are incompetent. It's not just the lawyers either.
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:54 PM   #29
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I thought this guy had a lot of good points. USA was struggling before WW2 and after WW2 all of the industrial countries were in ruin. That accounts for 30-40 years of prosperity in the USA. Other countries eventually rebuilt and found their niche while our titans of industry found cheap labor. The handwriting was on the wall during the late 80's and 90's as it took 2 incomes for a family to be middle class. Remove 1 of the incomes (unemployment 16%) and now you have the present environment, which is a spiral down for the middle class.
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Old 10-28-2010, 03:17 PM   #30
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I thought this guy had a lot of good points. USA was struggling before WW2 and after WW2 all of the industrial countries were in ruin. That accounts for 30-40 years of prosperity in the USA.
Let me clarify that quote with an addition to the last sentence:
... mostly for white Anglo-Saxon Protestant male high-school graduates.

The book "The Way We Never Were" is an eye-opener on those halcyon "good ol' days".

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The handwriting was on the wall during the late 80's and 90's as it took 2 incomes for a family to be middle class. Remove 1 of the incomes (unemployment 16%) and now you have the present environment, which is a spiral down for the middle class.
Ironically "The Two-Income Trap" wasn't published until 2003.

The two-income problem didn't get that way until families started bidding up the cost of homes in good neighborhoods with good schools. After 30-40 years of record-low unemployment, they assumed that they'd always have the job opportunities and could afford to pay the mortgage. As credit standards dropped, the mortgage companies made the same assumption...
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Old 10-29-2010, 08:28 AM   #31
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I know as usual I'm a bit late, but the comments about scholastic achievement got me thinking. In the area I live I have heard several parents saying they were choosing certain schools because it had a good sports program, but the academic program wasn't all that good. I found that rather shocking that a parent would trap their kids in that type of lifestyle. Even in sports that are more individual like cross country and track, I've seen parents take kids out of outstanding academic schools and place their kids in academically inferior schools for a better track program.

For a while my son was all about baseball. It's all he wanted to do when he grew up. I pointed out the pros and cons of professional sports. I explained how the heard gets thinned out as the age groups go up and the only way to be selected for the team was to continually improve his skills and that required practice. That is where I lost him. He'd rather play and goof off than practice a lot. This year he decided running was his thing (actually he has wanted to join a track team about five years). He is very good at running and consistently beats kids on the junior varsity team while he is only in his first year of junior high. His only bad race was his first, which was expected, because he blew his pacing and wound up walking a portion of the race. Even after that setback he still finished in the top 1/3 of runners (can you tell I'm a proud dad?). At first his grades started slipping, because he was thinking that he didn't need to know anything from school to be able to run well. Going from the experience of the baseball explanation, I went into the need to be able to manage any money won. The only way to do that was to be able to see through the BS any salesman tries to give him and that requires education. He bought into it and started working on his grades and they improved. I also pointed out again the low number of people who actually are able to make any substantial amounts of money in sports and to make enough money to live on he has to be one of the best.

I guess my point is, it is far easier to allow a child to believe they can make mass amounts of money playing sports and encourage that plan, even if it provides limited opportunities for the kid, than to force them to study and get good grades. From the sounds of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that could be one of the reasonings parents are using to let their kids focus more on sports than on academics. I also pointed out to the kid that if he can be financially successful with outstanding athletic ability, imagine how financially successful he can be with brains and athletic ability.
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Old 10-29-2010, 09:11 AM   #32
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From the sounds of the Dunning-Kruger effect, that could be one of the reasonings parents are using to let their kids focus more on sports than on academics. I also pointed out to the kid that if he can be financially successful with outstanding athletic ability, imagine how financially successful he can be with brains and athletic ability.
Spouse and I did no varsity sports in high school, and I even dropped out of the band. When we were growing up we were all about academics.

I can see how that focus would permeate to the next generation.

When our kid was growing up the comments were "You're gonna need a really good job to support those lifestyle standards" and "If you have money then you have choices". She's already tried it the other way...
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Old 10-29-2010, 10:02 AM   #33
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When our kid was growing up the comments were "You're gonna need a really good job to support those lifestyle standards" and "If you have money then you have choices". She's already tried it the other way...
During one discussion between the kid and me, I made a similar point about options. I asked if he only has the knowledge to make 20k per year but want to make million a year, could he do it? He said no (duh obvious). Then I asked if he had the knowledge to make a million a year but only wanted to make 20k per year could he do that. Of course the answer was yes. It seems to sink in better when he thinks about the answer rather than me giving it to him. He just needs constant reminding of certain things, but for the most part he is easy to keep on track (that could be because we don't let him get too far off track).
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Old 10-29-2010, 11:17 AM   #34
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... to let their kids focus more on sports than on academics.
Here's a ranking of focus alternatives probably many would agree with: (1) both sports and academics, (2) academics, (3) sports, (4) no focus. Choosing (3) would be reasonable if there was danger of (4).
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