"In 1965, at the beginning of the year, there was a bunch of stuff going on with the time-sharing system that Noel and I were users of. We were working for the political science department. And the system programmers wrote a programming staff note memo that proposed the creation of a mail command. But people proposed things in programming staff notes that never got implemented. And well, we thought the idea of electronic mail was a great idea. We said, 'Where’s electronic mail? That would be so cool.' And they said, 'Oh, there’s no time to write that. It’s not important.' And we said, 'Well, can we write it?' And we did. And then it became part of the system."
Dunning and Kruger argued in their paper, "When people are incompetent in the strategies they adopt to achieve success and satisfaction, they suffer a dual burden: Not only do they reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the ability to realize it. Instead, like Mr. Wheeler, they are left with the erroneous impression they are doing just fine." It became known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect — our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence. But just how prevalent is this effect?
Mother Jones guest blogger Mark Armstrong is the founder of Longreads, a site devoted to uncovering the best long-form nonfiction articles available online. And what better time to curl up…
LENGTH: 5 minutes (1451 words)
I just spent eight weeks working on a screenplay ten hours a day while listening to the same three albumsPopol Vuh: Einsjager und Siebensjager (1974); The Six Parts Seven: Casually Smashed to…
LENGTH: 7 minutes (1948 words)
THE TEAM LEADER Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, on patrol in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, 2010.
PUBLISHED: April 27, 2011
LENGTH: 33 minutes (8342 words)
"You may remember some of my other biggies, such as, 'Any monkey in a story had better be a dead monkey,' and 'Aunts and uncles are best construed as the heliological equivalent of small-scale weather systems,' or (the mother of all advice-quote-pairs): 'The number of rooms in a fictional house should be inversely proportional to the years during which the couple living in that house enjoyed true happiness.'"
In an age of global communications, does it still make sense to talk about our national past? Patrick Dillon sorts out a knotty issue ... From INTELLIGENT LIFE Magazine, Spring 2011 London…
LENGTH: 5 minutes (1437 words)
When I was twenty years old, I became a kind of apprentice to a man named Andrew Lytle, whom pretty much no one apart from his negligibly less ancient sister, Polly, had addressed except as Mister Lytle in at least a decade. She called him Brother. Or Brutha—I don’t suppose either of them had ever voiced a terminal r. His two grown daughters did call him Daddy. Certainly I never felt even the most obscure impulse to call him Andrew, or "old man," or any other familiarism, though he frequently gave me to know it would be all right if I were to call him mon vieux. He, for his part, called me boy, and beloved, and once, in a letter, "Breath of My Nostrils." (National Magazine Award winner 2011)
PUBLISHED: Oct. 1, 2010
LENGTH: 30 minutes (7507 words)