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MINNEAPOLIS (The Borowitz Report)—Many Americans are tired of explaining things to idiots, particularly when the things in question are so painfully obvious, a new poll indicates.
According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, while millions have been vexed for some time by their failure to explain incredibly basic information to dolts, that frustration has now reached a breaking point.
Of the many obvious things that people are sick and tired of trying to get through the skulls of stupid people, the fact that climate change will cause catastrophic habitat destruction and devastating extinctions tops the list, with a majority saying that they will no longer bother trying to explain this to cretins.
Coming in a close second, statistical proof that gun control has reduced gun deaths in countries around the world is something that a significant number of those polled have given up attempting to break down for morons.
Finally, a majority said that trying to make idiots understand why a flag that symbolizes bigotry and hatred has no business flying over a state capitol only makes the person attempting to explain this want to put his or her fist through a wall.
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than is accurate.
This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their ineptitude.
Conversely, highly skilled individuals tend to underestimate their relative competence, erroneously assuming that tasks which are easy for them are also easy for others.
As David Dunning and Justin Kruger of Cornell University conclude: "The miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."
But when you read Dunning-Kruger, and consider its implications, you instantly think of Sarah Palin and Herman Cain.
Palin was the short-term governor of Alaska, who ran for vice-president on the platform of getting the government out of our lives, even though Alaska had the highest per capita rate of government subsidy in the nation, and Herman Cain was a successful businessman who believed that by virtue of having been a former pizza maker, he was entitled to be president.
In Barbara Walters' interview with Palin, she delicately mentioned the fact that people were "concerned" about Ms. Palin being put in a position where she could accede to the presidency. Palin's face lit up with utter astonishment. "But why would they think that?!" she asked plaintively, without so much as a sliver of self-doubt. How could anyone think I wouldn't make a great president? Her certitude was scary.