A study out of Cornell University is awesome. Incompetent people are too incompetent to know they're incompetent.
Well, duh. I could have told them that. Geez.
Apparently, it's an all encompassing level of stoopid. They tested all kinds of things, and found that everyone taking the test believe they are above average, even if they sucked. Basically, people refuse to admit there is nothing they don't know.
This is the line I like best from the article: "It doesn’t matter what the test is about – logical reasoning, how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, grammar, the funniness of jokes." For crying out loud: I still have to call my high school English teacher to help me with my grammar, and I'm a writer. This study is just depressing on so many levels.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I've been listening to a different version of this same song for years now: everything thinks they're a great driver. Everyone. Which makes me wonder about all those excellent drivers that drive into buildings, head into the ditch and drive over pedestrians. How anyone could possibly think they don't have room for improvement is shocking. How can anyone believe they are 100% on, 100% of the time?
The study actually has a point, beyond being able to finally ridicule your moronic whatever-in-law with assurance: incompetence leads to people being unable to measure the abilities of anyone else, thus making it easier for people to deny things like global warming. Or the divine nuttiness of Sarah Palin. Or the need for an affordable transit system.
I, for instance, am totally aware of what I don't know. And if I stray from the mark, I have Christopher to help guide me back. Working side by side with him at the dining room table the past few weeks has revealed this to me. Just today, I glanced over at his computer, and with the sun at the right angle, I could see his screen was covered in crud.
"You need to clean your monitor," I told him.
"I don't have the stuff," he replied.
"Just get some Windex and a paper towel clean it up," I told his horrified face.
"You do not use Windex on a computer monitor. Are you nuts?" he asked.
"I do it all the time. I just put a little on a paper towel, and mop it right up. Looks way better."
"You will destroy your monitor. Are you crazy?" I did not like the tone of this conversation.
"You just do it really quickly. It's not like you spray it on like a window. You just spritz a little on the paper towel, and take a really quick little swipe at it," I finished.
"You really believe that doing it quickly will make it better? Like your monitor won't know it's still Windex?"
"When you were little and I had to clean your face, I used to just sneak up on you and grab you and do it. It was over before you knew it, and your face was clean." I considered this an apt comparison.
"It's not a bandaid. You are crazy. And I finally know why we have to keep buying you new monitors."
I'm not even going to tell him how I clean my keyboard. Except the Lysol wipes are sitting right here. He might guess.