Stupid Information for Dunning-Kruger-ites

Saw a silly article, “Science reveals why your shoelaces come untied.” Silly. Tie them correctly and they won’t come untied until you want them to.

But I’m sure the wide-spectrum incompetents who have inflicted Dunning-Kruger Syndrome on themselves (and who then inflict everyone else with their undeservedly confident incompetent behavior) would find the article comforting.


There’s a Term for This

. . .but I can’t find it where I thought I filed it.

Needed a refill on coffee. Turned to pick up my coffee mug from the coaster on the end table (where it belongs *heh*), and. . . nope. Went hunting for where I had put it down.


Went back. There it was. Four inches from where it belonged.

Signs of Subliteracy

Here’s one. When folks either misuse a word entirely (“effect” for “affect” for but one of many examples) or spell words phonetically (or nearly), it’s a pretty good sign that their literacy skills are pretty thin.

For example, I saw “amuck” used by someone whose verbal vocabulary exceeds his literacy. The word he was groping for, of course, was “amok.” (It’s a fascinating word.) I’m willing to give folks credit for trying, but I’d really rather folks used words they actually KNOW (as a result of good literacy) than spout off with words they really don’t know at all.

Actually, I’d be more charitable had the fellow typed, “amuk,” since that’s an early 17th Century variant spelling. Both spellings derived, of course, from “amuco.”

Oh, and yes I do know that some contemporary folks are arguing for “amuck,” but that’s really just because they’re too lazy to learn how to spell and use words well.

Racing Thoughts/Anxiety

A FarceBook acquaintance (longer acquaintance online–mostly blogging) suggested a method for dealing with “looping racing thoughts,” etc. Here’s a (still long for a FarceBook post) snippet:

If you have looping racing thoughts, or an escalating anxiety or depression cycle… or even if you have problems with attention regulation because of ADHD or emotional stress… try this…
Carry a pair of polyhedral dice in your pocket… it’s better if they’re two different types, both large… say a D12 and a d20. It has to be physical dice… You need to get out of your head and connect to the world.

Any time you have a thought loop you need to disrupt, shake the dice and read them… on your hand, on a table, doesn’t matter.

Then multiply them.

Then divide the result by the total number of sides.

Then take that number and add it to the letters of your name, in a simple substitution, where A is 1, B is 2 etc…

Then alternately multiply, divide, add, and subtract the numbers.

Then start squaring them, or raising them to the exponent of each other.

At some point in this process your loop will disrupt. . . and you can insert your control thought that says something like:

“these emotions are not in control of me, they are simply an excess or deficit of emotional energy caused by too much of some neurotransmitters and not enough of some other neurotransmitters, and they are lying to me [about reality]. . . “

Very good technique(s). I have used visualizing musical scores, performing them or directing them, while either listening to a recorded performance or simply listening to them in my head. Taking [semi-quasi] “random” dictionary words or sentences from a book and using them to compose a fugue or another form via letter-number substitutions for both tones and rhythms, etc. Actually singing or playing one of these (or even just one line while “hearing” the rest in my head) has proved useful to me.

It’s more complex than that, but that’s the basic framework. Playing math games with minor (or maybe even not so minor would be more interesting?) linguistic twists seems likely to work as well.

Aside: From the FarceBook post,

“Recite a dice roll number of words or lines of a poem or song from memory. . . ”

*heh* very close to one of my methods for devising pass phrases (though I also choose one of several techniques to encode the phrases, usually from Renaissance at songs, though only in Italian, French or _maybe_ English).

Danger! Danger!

Back when I was a lad, I used to have some seriously dangerous thoughts. For example, driving “into town,” as I thought of it, in my ’53 Chevy, there was a place in the road where the road curved to the left and ascended a wee bit. To the right, just over the curb and a wee bit of verge was an arroyo. Every now and then I wondered what it would be like to just keep going straight and launch myself off the roadway. Oh, these weren’t serious thoughts, and I was in no way (consciously) suicidal, but every now and then. . .

This morning, I had another such “dangerous thought” as I reached into the fridge to get the cream for our coffees. I almost picked up the buttermilk thinking, “I wonder what buttermilk in coffee would taste like?”



Always Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Because one should take a knife (or several) everywhere one goes, anyway. Now, using a knife at a gun fight is a good idea or not, may depend on the circumstances. I have been (I believe) reliably informed that at the right distance, and in the right circumstances, a knife can be more useful than a handgun.

It would take a willingness to be up close, personal, and very, very bloody, though. I imagine it would help to have gutted a few deer and pigs beforehand. I’ve only used rubber knives for simulating the former, but field dressing game is mainly just a bit messy.

Tightwad Tip #12,826

Well, it would be #12,826–or higher–if I simply wrote down a daily log of tightwaddery @twc central. . .

Anywho, since I’ve not gotten around to adding a hose bib for the back yard, yet (yeh, the place has been w/o one for 40 years, since it was built, 22+ of them under our stewardship, so it’s not a big rush item), and one of our two hoses (needs at least 2-50′ hoses to be useful for back yard) bit the dust toward the end of last summer, I decided to keep an eye out for another one.

Found one. It’s one of those expanding/collapsing hoses. 50′. Just a couple of bucks. Seriously. Even at a “fell off the back of a truck” store, that’s unbelievable.

Believe it. But there was a reason: the rubberized fabric hose sheath had a 1” seam split. Oh Noes! Not.

1. Sew up the split.
2. Coat the repaired split with silicone gasket compound.
3. Wrap that with self-sealing silicone tape.
4. Cover the self-sealing silicone tape with pieces of the “dead” hose’
5. Rewrap with more self-sealing silicone tape.

Tried it out. Looks good.

Even if it only lasts one season, a 50′ hose for under $5 isn’t that bad, but I fully expect it to last longer than that. In fact, I do not expect the repair job to fail at all during the hose’s usable service life.

Oh, the tip? I should think it was obvious: don’t pass up a bargain just because it has one flaw, as long as that flaw is repairable. . . inexpensively (read “inexpensively” as “dirt cheap” *heh*)


Amusing to watch a movie on TV (I’m also reading a book and slipping out to do this during commercial breaks. a close approximation of my typical TV-watching habits for about. . . 6 decades) and watch, during a gunfight scene, one character’s wound move from one side of his body to another. Yeh, continuity shoulda caught that. But then, that was the least of the continuity errors and other flubs and wildly laughable mistakes in the film.

Suspension of disbelief was irrevocably broken in the first five minutes though, so all the errors, laughable mistakes of anatomy, mechanics, procedural “bind-moggling,” etc., were more amusing than distracting, because NOTHING about the film was in any way, shape, fashion, or form believable, even within its own framework, right down to the protagonist’s hair color.