Australia 2020 rejection letter finally arrives

Thumbnail image of Australia 2020 Summit rejection letter

This morning I finally received a letter (pictured) telling me that I hadn’t been selected for the Australia 2020 Summit. Gosh. I’d already figured that out from not being on the published lists of those who were going.

Apart from the rather late arrival of the news and the traditional passive-voice bureaucratic writing style, there’s two interesting points about this letter.

  1. I left the “title” field of the nomination form blank, since I don’t use them. I think titles like “Mr”, “Miss”, “Mrs”, “Ms” etc are an archaic way of labelling people. Nevertheless they felt compelled to use “Mr/s”, even though I had filled in the gender field.
  2. The official website said that people who applied via email, like me, would receive an email reply. They can’t even follow their own published procedure.

I really am trying to find good-news stories about the Summit, I really am…

Remember the Dunning-Kruger Effect!

I’ve just stumbled across something which helps explain a lot about the world: the Dunning-Kruger Effect. This is the phenomenon wherein people who have little knowledge think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge.

Manifestations include:

  1. incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
  2. incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
  3. incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
  4. if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.

This certainly applies to a news story I stumbled across today: Texas has appointed an anti-intellectual creationist as the head of their schools board. A school head who thinks education is a bad thing?