Trump, Hanson and the Dunning-Kruger effect

Claims like Trump is evil or insane, or that his supporters are dumb and ignorant are divisive and designed to enable left-wing intellectuals like myself to ignore the real reasons why the likes of Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson have so many supporters. This kind of name calling deliberately mythologises real human beings who have real issues. In academic terms, this is called Othering, i.e. making them into the Others—not us. It is in part about defining who we are by pointing out who we are not, but it also makes the Others kind of unreal. Once we’ve achieved that, we don’t have to deal with them because we’ve moved them outside of our own sphere and for our own safety we keep them there. This is how patriarchy has worked for thousands of years—it Othered women.

A friend, for whom I have great respect, recently shared an article titled Are Trump Supporters Too Dumb To Know They’re Dumb? Science Says “Probably”. I respect her for her intelligence, diligence in research and her compassion. I say this in part because I’m about to attack the article that she shared but also because, like so many people, I consider myself intelligent, informed and compassionate and yet I have also engaged in the type marginalising found in this article. I could say that I have been racist and discriminatory towards these Trump supporters who we think of as racist and discriminatory. In other words, in spite of my self-presumption of intelligence, education and compassion, I have behaved like a Trump supporter. I have to consider the possibility that I am also subject to the Dunning-Kruger effect.

The quick version of that article by Rika Christensen is that Trump supporters suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is basically a scientific way of saying that there are some things that people don’t know that they don’t know. The article uses this to explain the ‘dumb’ of Trump supporters.

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Sexual favours and bull semen

Okay guys, heads up and listen in. This is a rare and special deal. Libby, my wife, is offering me sexual favours commensurate with my performance in her Pozible campaign. In other words, the more money I raise for the campaign, the slinkier and sexier favours I get. Boys, I’m going to the promised land. So, I’m begging you to help out a bro’ here. We’ve all dreamed of this and now here’s a chance for one of us to live it. Please, dig deep, look under the couch cushions, empty out the glove box, leave no stone unturned. Together, we can make this happen … for me. You? You get the chance to win some premium A-grade bull semen. I don’t often call in a solid but this time I need it to be more solid than ever before. And don’t worry, your partners will think you’re donating to an environmental campaign. Play your touchy-feely, new-age-guy cards right and you could score some action too. Remember, we can achieve more working together, than standing alone. So get behind me, get out your wallets and pledge your support. I’m gonna kiss the sky.

domestic life [poem]

domestic life [poem]
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I Remember [15 min. fiction]

I believe it is possible to pump up one’s writing muscles like a body builder preparing for a … whatever it is body builders are preparing for. For this reason I’m trying to write a 15 minute fiction everyday. Trying; not succeeding everyday but that’s okay. I’m writing more than I was prior to the new exercise regime so that’s a good thing. (My current fiction teacher may be less forgiving and I appreciate her all the more for it.) Most of it will never see the light of day and, as I write, I’m imagining your gratitude for that. But I thought this piece might not be so bad. Hopefully there will be more that can be allowed out to bask in the glow of peoples’ screens. Rest assured, I will let you know if I think there are.

My latest rep. (that’s fitness geek for repetition), my latest rep. on the bench press is called I Remember and is published over at {A Further Space}. I hope you will let me know what you think of it in the comments section below this. Feel free to be critical. Constructive criticism is the most helpful you can be.

I’m going with the Flow

I have never kept bees, though I have wanted to for some time now. So when a shiny new bandwagon came barrelling towards me, I hopped right on and pre-purchased a Flow Hive as part of the phenomenal Indiegogo campaign that broke records in a matter of days. In case you didn’t know, two guys in Byron Bay came up with a new design for harvesting honey from a beehive by simply turning on a tap. They created an Indiegogo campaign to raise $70,000. Within 72 hours they’d raised over $2 million breaking previous Indiegogo records for both the one and the two million dollar marks in the shortest time. It caused quite a stir.

Beekeeping forums are buzzing with heated debates about this new design with the primary concern of objectors being the bees’ welfare. This is in spite of the designers promoting one of the features of their new hive as reducing disturbance to the bees. Granted, this could just be marketing hype on the part of the inventors, but anyone who knows just a little about traditional methods of harvesting honey from a beehive will be able to see the truth of this statement when they see how the Flow Hive works. So, what’s the problem?

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Freedom of speech revisited

I wrote in an earlier post about freedom of speech that it means ‘you can say whatever … you want without going to jail.’ I am an admin for a well trafficked Facebook group and recent experience in that role has resulted in a rethink about what freedom of speech really means to me.

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  • About The Book of Pete

    This is a place to practice. It's an ongoing warts 'n all exercise intended to push me forward. Self-indulgent? Yes but hopefully as time passes the content will improve and something here will entertain you.