Link Roundup: October 2020

School of Life: A Very Bad YouTube Channel | Big Joel (video, 25 min) – Just a funny take down of a ridiculous self-help channel.  I was surprised to learn that School of Life is made by Alain De Botton, who I mostly remember from his 2012 TED talk about “Atheism 2.0”.  At the time, his talk certainly struck a chord with a lot of atheists who were unhappy with the state of the atheist movement.  But whenever I heard details about his specific suggestions, they were completely full of shit.  He just had no idea what he was talking about, and worse, he erased the efforts of other atheists who had similar criticisms and who were actually involved in the communities they wanted to change.  I hated this guy, and now I feel vindicated.

The Dunning-Kruger effect: Misunderstood, misrepresented, overused, and… nonexistent? | Skepchick – Ever since researching and writing about the Dunning-Kruger effect, I’ve been convinced that it’s not very good psychology, and even worse as pop psychology.  So I’m glad to see this independent (and more thorough) review.

While on this subject, I was reminded of my research into perceptions of penis size, where I learned that (non-Asian) men systematically overestimate their penis size (“penis Lake Wobegon” I called it).  Following Dunning-Kruger logic, we must conclude that having a smaller penis deprives one of the ability to accurately self-assess one’s penis size.

Science & Religion Aren’t Compatible (But only in America) | Skepchick – Rebecca Watson discusses a study demonstrating the point in the title.  If anyone has paper access I’m curious what it says about the UK and Canada.

In Search of a Flat Earth | Folding Ideas (video, 76 min) – I see that video essays are quickly approaching movie length.  Dan Olson disproves a conspiracy theory with some beautiful footage, not that it matters to the doomsday cult.


  1. Rob Grigjanis says

    Re D-K: First, the skepchick website is bloody annoying. Pop-up ads, and text jerking around as you try to scroll down. I’m sure there’s a good revenue stream related reason, but still.

    For the phenomenon I encounter most often, I prefer “The Alexander Pope Effect” anyway.

    Re Penis size: Bloody hell, that’s what tape measures are for, right?

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    Just remembered an old joke. Why do men have such a poor sense of distance? Because they think this (holding palms apart a distance equivalent to their erect penis length) is eight inches.

  3. says

    Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with the Skepchick ads, like it’s not even the ads themselves that are annoying it’s about poor web design. FTB used to have terrible ads too, and I suspect they just got a shitty deal with ad providers. Another reason to support the FTB fundraisers…

    One thing I thought was interesting about the Skepchick article, was the mention of the “Dunning-Sanchez” effect, which honestly sounds closer to what people want the Dunning-Kruger effect to be, and is certainly closer to the A. Pope poem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *