Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, May 02, 2017


A Dunning-Kruger party

by Tom Sullivan

We discussed the Dunning-Kruger effect here before we had a Dunning-Kruger presidency. It is "a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is." Simply put, they are too ignorant to know how ignorant they are. Like the American tourist who was glad they'd put Stonehenge close to the road so the stones weren't a long walk from the parking. That person is now president. Donald Trump and his family are proving the Dunning-Kruger effect is not limited to individuals with limited education. (See Andrew Jackson.)

But this threshold effect has observable corollaries. People so developmentally immature they cannot see just how immature their behavior appears to those around them. People so amoral, they cannot grasp how amoral they are.

Case in point, one Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama and member of the Freedom Caucus, commenting on placing people with preexisting conditions into high-risk pools in the revised Trumpcare bill. Citing "states' rights," Brooks says he is a yes vote for the retooled legislation [timestamp 2:01]

Brooks tells CNN's Jack Tapper:

“It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

Jonathan Chait observes that this "idea that morality dictates healthy people pay less, and sick people more" is not new. He quotes Whole Food's libertarian owner John Mackey's criticism of Obamacare for not requiring more personal responsibility, responding:

Of course, you can’t pay your own way if you’re too poor or sick to afford your own projected medical costs. Indeed, sometimes people who are healthy at the moment find one day they are not, or they have a sick child, or maybe they simply want to have a baby. (The cost of bearing children is another one Republicans want to be borne entirely by those doing it.) The Republican plan expresses one of the core beliefs shared by movement conservatives, and utterly alien to people across the globe, right and left: that people who can’t afford the cost of their own medical care have nobody to blame but themselves.
The sentiment harkens back to Peter Marin's October 1975 article in Harper's, "The New Narcissism." Marin examines the human potential movement where people are taught the joys of self love and that with right thinking they are the masters of their fate. At California's Easlen Institute:
... I listen for two hours in a graduate seminar to two women therapists explaining to me how we are all entirely responsible for our destinies, and how the Jews must have wanted to be burned by the Germans, and that those who starve in the Sahel must want it to happen, and when I ask them whether there is anything we owe to others, say, to a child starving in the desert, one of them snaps at me angrily: "What can I do if a child is determined to starve?"

That, precisely, is what I am talking about here: the growing solipsism and desperation of a beleaguered class, the world view emerging among us centered solely on the self and with individual survival as its sole good. It is a world view present not only in everything we say and do, but as an ambience, a feeling in the air, a general cast of perception and attitude: a retreat from the worlds of morality and history, an unembarrassed denial of human reciprocity and community.
That was over 40 years ago. And here we are. I wrote at my first blog in 2008:
It's the same disdain for the fate of others perceived as not as "responsible" as ourselves that is reflected in much of what I hear from conservative colleagues. It's dog whistle politics, code-speak for saying these Irresponsibles have made choices that place them outside the velvet ropes of middle-class convention, including - and rarely mentioned aloud - poor choice of parents, national origin, religion and skin color.
"They should just die" is a sentiment I've heard from Trump supporters on the ground about those they consider lessers, completely unaware how cold and amoral they appear. But within the echo chamber, from within a culture focused on me, my family, my job, my friends, my church, etc., that sentiment gets reinforced as normal. It is hard today to know whether New Agers picked up this thinking from conservatives or the other way around. How would Brooks the Freedom Caucus Alabaman respond to knowing his sentiments may have roots in California?


Jimmy Kimmel's son was born last week with congenital heart failure. He had this to say about it last night:
“I want to say one other thing. President Trump, last month, proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the NIH. And thank God our Congressmen made a deal last night to not go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion, and I applaud them for doing that. Because more than 40% of the people who would have been affected by those cuts at the National Institute of Health are children, and it would have a major impact on a lot of great places, including Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Which is so unbelievably sad to me. We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to healthcare at all.

Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it should matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do.

Whatever your party, whatever you believe, whoever you support, we need to make sure that the people who are supposed to represent us, the people who are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly. Let’s stop with the nonsense. This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other. I saw a lot of families there and no parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life. It just shouldn’t happen. Not here. So. Anyway. Thank you for listening. I promise I’m not going to cry for the rest of the show.”