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  #21  
Old 15 January 2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
99% of the people who read this and have a gaffaw about it don't know the first thing about what makes navigating on a sphere different from a plane.
They don't have to.

They just have to know the first thing about flat Earthers, which is that they're anti-science.

Science doesn't require 99% of people to understand it to be real. I accept that the Earth is round without having ever seen it from space because I trust that the scientific community knows what it is talking about enough that I accept a scientific consensus as reality. This isn't an act of blind faith but an act of humility - I don't believe I know better than scientists so I don't contradict their fields of study to them.

Those who go against scientific consensus just because they don't understand it (whether it's flat Earthers, evolution deniers, climate change deniers, anti-vaccinators or any other group) aren't just ignorant, in my opinion, but are harmfully ignorant. They spread misunderstanding and obstruct the education of others. They're not just unscientific but anti-scientific.

It's not helpful to make fun of them to their faces, but it's understandable that people want to make fun of them among other people who aren't anti-science. They are a frustrating bunch and sometimes frustration needs venting.
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  #22  
Old 15 January 2019, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
I've met a few. The Dunning-Kruger effect was real strong in all of them.
Really? Please explain what you mean by that.
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  #23  
Old 15 January 2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blatherskite View Post
It's not helpful to make fun of them to their faces, but it's understandable that people want to make fun of them among other people who aren't anti-science. They are a frustrating bunch and sometimes frustration needs venting.
I agree with this, except for the frustrating part. I don't find Flat Earthers frustrating. But I get that people are frustrated by different things.
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  #24  
Old 15 January 2019, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
The trolls are definitely a factor, but a shocking proportion of gullible conspiracy nuts are drawn into it for real.
What proportion is it? I'm prepared to be shocked.
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  #25  
Old 15 January 2019, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
Really? Please explain what you mean by that.
Did you read my entire post or just that sentence? If it was the former, precisely what part was unclear?
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  #26  
Old 15 January 2019, 11:00 PM
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I read the whole post. I don't see why you would see that as the Dunning-Kruger effect. What do you think Dunning and Kruger found in their research that you observed in the people you met?
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  #27  
Old 15 January 2019, 11:07 PM
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Flat earthers, anti-vaxers, moon landing deniers, climate change deniers, etc. all claim that they have superior knowledge of things that, in reality, they know nothing about. Most of the time they claim common sense is on their side. But then common sense really isn't very common.
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  #28  
Old 16 January 2019, 12:10 AM
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We're talking about flat-earthers (particularly the ones crocoduck met) not any other group.

So is the claim that they "claim to have superior knowledge" compared to those who actually do? That's not what Dunning and Kruger found at all.

The most interesting thing about the popular science (mis)interpretation of Dunning-Kruger is that it mirrors itself in its (mis)understanding of the actual Dunning-Kruger findings. That is, people who are more likely to bring up Dunning-Kruger in these situations are far more likely to be talking about the pop-sci version rather than anything related to the actual (rather unremarkable and limited proportional trend) Dunning and Kruger (and some but not all of those who followed) actually reported in small groups of peers.
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  #29  
Old 16 January 2019, 12:37 AM
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Very well, all flat earthers think they know more than all the scientists who say the earth is round. All of these flat earthers know this because common sense tells them this. You can't see the earth is round except during lunar eclipses but that is an optical illusion. Likewise the fact that when a ship sails out to see, the bottom part of the ship disappears before the top part. The photos from space are all a conspiracy. All flat earthers are suffering from a delusion that they know more than the rest of us do.
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  #30  
Old 16 January 2019, 12:55 AM
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Where did you get those claims about Flat Earthers?

The real lesson we could have and should have learned form Dunning-Kruger and their ilk is that it happens in every domain and, therefore (unless one is very competent in every domain) it happens to all of us. Instead we get this rather naive version - completely unsupported by the data, of course - in which fools think they're smarter than experts.

Also any sentence that goes 'I met some __ and they were __, ___, and ___.' should raise a few skeptical eyebrows in the very least, if not a big red stereotype flag.

By contrast, people who have actually investigated either groups of Flat Earthers or individual beliefs about geography (like Dunning and Kruger) have found a more nuanced set of complexly related sets of various beliefs and ways of approaching the problem.
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  #31  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:03 AM
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A fool hath said in his heart, "I am no fool."

- Itinerant male shrew, circa 21st century
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  #32  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:05 AM
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From Wikipedia:

Quote:
In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people of low ability have illusory superiority and mistakenly assess their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority comes from the inability of low-ability people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.
My experience with flat-earthers is that they will dismiss any evidence that the Earth is not flat out of hand, even when it comes to fairly simple tests such as observing far-off large objects coming over the horizon as you approach them. They don't understand the evidence, but instead use their lack of understanding as evidence that the experts are wrong and that they have managed to figure it out.
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  #33  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:07 AM
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Key words being "greater than it is" and "Wikipedia". (ETA And it's baffling that people including whoever writes this Wikicrap accept the links to illusory superiority despite the fact that none of the studies cited have found any such link. On the contrary, Dunning and Kruger found the overwhelming trend was that people with lower abilities, in a specific domain among a group of peers, did generally rate themselves lower (though just not quite as much as they should have). But you'd never know it because, well 'science'. AKA BS science.)

Last edited by ganzfeld; 16 January 2019 at 01:16 AM.
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  #34  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:10 AM
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Ganz, is there a specific point you're trying to make in this thread? Because you're normally not nearly this argumentative.
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  #35  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:19 AM
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I think some of it comes down to a bonafide philosophical question of how we come to "know" things and what constitutes a "justified true belief" in a world where absolute metaphysical certainty is impossible to achieve if we’re being honest with ourselves.

I’d grant that some adherents to flat-eartherism do indeed have as much justification to believe the world is flat as your average high school (or college!) graduate has to believe that it’s round. It just happens that the education they got during their formative years (possibly due to homeschooling, possibly due to parents who worked real hard to plant it into their heads early on that they should put one thing down on the test their teachers gave them, but "know" something else) was based on things that weren’t exactly... true.
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  #36  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:28 AM
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Maybe some pedantic history buff (not that there are any on this message board. ) will correct me, but as I recall, people have known since Ancient Greece that the Earth was round. Erastothenes tried to use this knowledge to figure out the circumference of the Earth. He managed to come really close to the correct number for a guy who was working with little more than pencil, paper, and a compass.
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  #37  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:30 AM
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(Some) academics came to that conclusion based on well-considered observations, yes. Others "knew it" because they bought into some mumbo-jumbo about how the sphere was the perfect shape and so the world must be round, with we the living sitting upon the top half. It just so happens they were right (about the first part) but not so much about the rest or the why.. But who knows what Achilles the farmer knew or why?
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  #38  
Old 16 January 2019, 01:57 AM
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Here's the original paper by Kruger and Dunning. (If you don't feel like reading it, there are four graphs that give you a lot of the info). Yeah, I don't get why Wikipedia says that the DK effect is that "people of low ability have illusory superiority" since they tend to rate themselves lower than the top quartile rates themselves.

Also they point out that
Quote:
Study 4 also revealed a paradox. It suggested that one way to make people recognize their incompetence is to make them competent. Once we taught bottom-quartile participants how to solve Wason selection tasks correctly, they also gained the metacognitive skills to recognize the previous error of their ways. Of course, and herein lies the paradox, once they gained the metacognitive skills to recognize their own incompetence, they were no longer incompetent. "To have such knowledge," as Miller (1993) put it in the quote that began this article, "would already be to remedy a good portion of the offense.
So whatever else is going on with Flat Earthers, it isn't the Dunning-Kruger effect.

Last edited by Steve; 16 January 2019 at 02:03 AM.
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  #39  
Old 16 January 2019, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
Ganz, is there a specific point you're trying to make in this thread?
When he was a young boy, he visited the edge of the Earth, and his parents fell off. Now it's a sensitive topic.
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  #40  
Old 16 January 2019, 02:44 AM
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Well, personally, I'm not that interested in the bogus science of flatland. I am, however, quite interested in 1) What makes a jab at a fool funny rather than just a cheap shot (if not cruel, which I don't think it is in this case; on the contrary, I think these groups enjoy the attention) or just meh, etc. 2) What makes people want to talk about how foolish people are rather than what I think are the more interesting issues such as 3) What are the various nuances of the reasons they became (or were born) fools and what do they mean about people (ie. us) in general.

I thought you made some interesting points in your first post here, Errata. Nevertheless, I feel that if it's a small delusion we should all be able to see how we ourselves are prone to similar and if it's an extreme one and a complex one then we should be able to see that it's not simply a case of choosing to be idiotic. I honestly don't know which if any are more worthy of ridicule. I suppose if it's like Blather said then whatever relieves the awful stress of being so utterly more correct in ones opinion.

ETA Oh and this metamorphosis of Dunning-Kruger into a kind of scientific urban legend of its own is extremely extremely fascinating, not least because if its overuse and abuse in communities that seem to be claiming some kind of intellectual superiority.

Last edited by ganzfeld; 16 January 2019 at 02:50 AM.
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