Thursday, October 01, 2020

Insulting my mind

Some insults are more fun than others.

One semi-common insult that is a little fun which I have flung at me is "pseudo-intellectual". I've been insulted this way nearly ever since I got out of school. I'm guessing it has something to do with my thinking/writing style, and that I say things people don't want to hear but that they may not know how to refute.

Another cutesy insult that has recently cropped up is saying I need to learn about the Dunning-Kruger Effect-- which I already know about-- because it explains my ignorant opinions. I admit I am as susceptible to that effect as anyone. It's interesting to me how my critics-- even after I admit this possibility-- never entertain the possibility that it might also apply to them. It never even enters their minds.

Usually, I get these insults after someone corrects my wrongthink out of the goodness of their heart, and I systematically dismantle their objection. 

This happened just a few days ago when someone insisted I admit that not all cops are bad; that they are individuals who can't be judged collectively. Then he generously suggested I revise my post to reflect this information and let him know once I have done so. 

In response, instead of revising my post, I went through his flawed assertions one by one, laying out why I said what I said. That's when he responded by calling me a pseudo-intellectual. The thanks I get for trying to explain things in enough detail for him to follow the trail with ease is an insult. How should I feel about that? Well, if I hadn't been so snarky toward him I would feel worse.

I also triggered this in someone a couple of days ago because he was making Covid-19 out to be (almost) an extinction-level threat, and I said the panic was unnecessary. He launched into multiple expletives and kept saying I was too stupid to engage with (and kept engaging anyway) and that I needed to research the Dunning-Kruger Effect. 

I think I really lit his fuse when I pointed out that no one wants to be seen as fighting a weak kitten, so they always portray their enemy as a strong dragon. I also told him my parents had both contracted and recovered from Covid, and that my dad even had multiple co-morbidities. He said he suspected I was lying.

I do not have a college degree. Never claimed to. I did attend college for 2 unfocused years-- my best subject, by far, was astronomy. I don't read the "right things". I don't automatically accept the claims of "authority", but I don't automatically dismiss them, either. I do my best to explain my thoughts clearly, and I know I sometimes don't. I guess this makes me a pseudo-intellectual who is too unaware of my mental limitations to realize how dumb I am. At least, according to some people.

If my writing style makes people think I'm trying to pass myself off as an intellectual, that's not my intention. I doubt I could pass for one if I tried. I'm also not going to dumb down what I write (although I admit I do try to do so for the newspaper columns, but that's another story). What you read is what you get.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.