August 24, 2009

"Well duh", the scientists who don't get it and research dollars.

"Scientists" 'finding out' what we already know and being surprised by it is one of my pet peeves.

In today's exciting episode, via Instapundit, we find this story about how little people know about their friends.

A growing body of experimental evidence suggests that, on the whole, we know significantly less about our friends, colleagues,(Presidents V) and even spouses than we think we do. This lack of knowledge extends far beyond embarrassing game-show fodder - we’re often completely wrong about their likes and dislikes, their political beliefs, their tastes, their cherished values. ...

They even act as if it's a recent phenomenon
Although such blind spots might at first seem like a comment on the atomization of modern life, the shallowness of human connection in the age of bowling alone,...

They skate around it the whole article. Even as they are slapped in the face with it,they keep writing stuff like
Friends and spouses are people to whom we are supposed to be able to confide anything ... Instead, it appears that there are whole regions of our personalities that they miss entirely, and we do the same with them.

Never once, not once, do they even come close to saying, "That's because people believe what they want to believe, always have, always will. In most cases, it keeps us from killing each other."
Con artists, politicians (but I repeat myself), ad execs and more have pretty much turned taking advantage of this into a science and these fools are all surprised that people work that way. 

I learned more about people by reading 'Stranger in a Strange Land" in the 4th grade than any of the researchers in that article have learned in their whole freaking lives.

Allow me to make fun of one particular fool out of an article full of them. It's gratuitous, but he's especially stupid.

It’s not clear that you would need to know everything about someone in order to have a deep and fulfilling relationship with them,” says Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Well Nick, can I call you Nick?, there's a huge body of evidence that would suggest that knowing too much about someone is a bar to having a deep and fulfilling relationship.
Remember the Gilligan's Island show where they could read minds? Remember how much they hated each other?
That's right, this professor of behavioral science knows less about people than a Gilligan's Island episode.

I'm gonna go even farther and say this guy knows less about behavioral sciences than Tom Tuttle from Tacoma, Washington.

Read the whole article, it's actually pretty funny in how obtuse it is. You could get your BS in Obtusity by reading it.

So why the headline?
I'm not sure if this is a good or bad use of research dollars and research scientists.

On the one hand, they would probably gum up the works of any real research.
On the other hand, the money wasted on studies on whether 'being drunk makes ugly people look good' could be used productively studying something useful and not already known.

Maybe someone should do a study.

Posted by: Veeshir at 02:59 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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