Scariest thing I’ve read all year: The Dunning-Kruger Effect

When Will Ferrel describes his George W Bush impression, he says he just imagines having a lot of “unearned confidence.” How would you know if you were one of these people? I first heard about the Dunning-Kruger effect in a comment on Hacker News and it immediately made me question a lot of things.

David Brent: Classic case of the Dunning-Kruger effect

The Dunning?Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes

Throughout my life I’ve forced myself to be confident in my abilities (ie. gotten out of my comfort zone) in an effort to improve my skills and do more things. I’ve always considered being optimistic and determined to succeed was a positive thing.

Luckily, according to Dunning and Kruger if I suffered from this effect I wouldn’t be able to recognize and change anyway. WIN.

Large Hadron Collider… COUNTDOWN

Only a couple weeks until they fire up the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Never heard of it?? From wikipedia:

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator complex intended to collide opposing beams of 7 TeV protons. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the standard model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics. This model is known to break down at a certain high energy level.

When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and “missing links” in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass.[3][1] The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify three of the four known fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force, leaving out only gravity. The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared to the other three forces. In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized novel particles that might be produced, and for which searches[4] are planned, include strangelets, micro black holes, magnetic monopoles and supersymmetric particles.[5]

If that doesn’t get you pumped up, then maybe this picture of it will.? And it’s 17 miles long!

Chicago AM Stations Heard in Philly?

My brother swears he can get Chicago’s ESPN Radio 1000AM in and around Philly at night. I was skeptical, but then I looked it up on Wikipedia:

Medium wave and short wave radio signals act differently during daytime and nighttime. During the day, AM signals travel by groundwave, diffracting around the curve of the earth over a distance up to a few hundred miles (or kilometers) from the signal transmitter. However, after sunset, changes in the ionosphere cause AM signals to travel by skywave, enabling AM radio stations to be heard much farther from their point of origin than is normal during the day.