Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Tricky Treat, Just for You

Photo Courtesy of  Voraom
In honor of this, the spookiest time of the year, I present a Halloween Eve treat  -- a short story, one of the first I ever wrote, and still one of my favorites. It features a full moon, a dark cold night, and a semi-larcenous narrator trapped in a twisted version of a very old tale.

You can click HERE to read "Little Red Robin Hood." Or you can click to the Boo! tab above. Either way, I hope you enjoy reading this little blast from my past as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When You're Too Stupid to Know How Stupid You Are

"Image courtesy of Boaz Yiftach /"
The Germans have a word for it (of course they do -- those Germans). Fremdschämen

Fremdschämen describes a peculiar kind of mortification. According to Psychology Today blogger Daniel R. Hawes, it's more than being embarrassed for yourself or another. It describes the almost-horror you feel when you notice that somebody is oblivious to how embarrassing they truly are. Hawes goes on to describe a related psychological phenomena -- The Dunning-Kruger complex.

Hawes explains: "The Dunning-Kruger effect describes a cognitive bias in which people perform poorly on a task, but lack the meta-cognitive capacity to properly evaluate their performance. As a result, such people remain unaware of their incompetence and accordingly fail to take any self-improvement measures that might rid them of their incompetence."

In other words, stupid is as stupid will always and forever be.

You can read more about the Dunning-Kruger effect in Hawes' Quilted Science column on the subject -- "When Ignorance Begets Confidence: The Classic Dunning-Kruger." And if you find it as intriguing as I did, you'll want to dive right into Errol Morris' interview with researcher David Dunning (the Dunning in Dunning-Kruger) on "The Anosognosic's Dilemma: Something's Wrong But You'll Never Know What It Is" in which you can learn about the Lemon Juice Bandit who thought he'd discovered the secret to invisibility.