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Monday, 13 February 2012

Politics explained in one easy lesson

... or rather, this saying by John Cleese which I found on Twitter probably explains why (a) politicians are so useless, and (b) why they really think they are doing a great job.


"To know how good you are at something requires the same skills as it does to be good at that thing.

Which means if you're absolutely hopeless at something you lack exactly the skills you need to know you're absolutely hopeless at it.

And this is a profound discovery, that most people who have absolutely no idea what they're doing have absolutely no idea that they have absolutely no idea what they're doing."


ChrisM said...


Andrew Ampers Taylor said...

Interesting, I really liked this bit and immediately thought of our leaders in Parliament!


The hypothesized phenomenon was tested in a series of experiments performed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, both then of Cornell University.[2][5] Kruger and Dunning noted earlier studies suggesting that ignorance of standards of performance is behind a great deal of incompetence. This pattern was seen in studies of skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

* tend to overestimate their own level of skill;

* fail to recognize genuine skill in others;

* fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy;

* recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill, if they can be trained to substantially improve.

ChrisM said...

Yes, those points describe the average politician to a tee,