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Tea Party incompetence: an example from PJMedia (Helen Smith v. John Scalzi)

Here's yet another example of a Tea Party leader showing how incompetent they are (note: see Tea Parties for our extensive coverage).

There is, however, one difference between the current and most past instances.

In the past, Teapartiers seemed to have being the prime example of the "Dunning-Kruger effect" [1] as their goal.

In this case, at least the Teaparty leader has admitted they're incompetent.

Responding to a Tim Wise-style screed called "Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is" [2], Dr. Helen Smith [3] writes at Pajamas Media [4] [5]:

...[author John Scalzi] gives some lame analogy about computers and being male in US society in which straight white men have it the easiest and minorities and women and all others are born into trouble... ...In my upcoming book [...self-promotion deleted...] I discuss these Uncle Tim types (those who put down other men) whose life is made easier by pandering to women...

My question to readers is, what is the best way to handle an Uncle Tim who puts down other men, laughs at their misfortune and even gets ahead politically with this behavior?

If Dr. Helen Smith were competent, she wouldn't need to ask such a question: she'd be able to come up with an action plan and she'd suggest to her readers that they help carry it out. Smith has a moderately large audience, and they're occasionally willing to do things (such as stand on street corners waving signs).

Instead of suggesting effective things her followers could do, Smith admits she has no clue. (For those new here, many posts here include effective things people can do about the problems this site discusses).

Not only that, but Smith is helping Scalzi via two links at the start of her post to his books: in effect, she's promoting those books. But, there's more: those links contain the Reynolds/Smith Amazon affiliate code. That means that if anyone buys one of those books through her links, Reynolds/Smith get a referral fee from Amazon.

There are very effective action plans that I could develop against "Uncle Tims" (similar to the many I've posted here over the years). And, taking effective action against "Uncle Tims" would be a national service. Yet, I don't have a large enough audience to carry them out, and those who do have a large enough audience are incompetent.

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[1] 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. link

[2] The screed is by John Scalzi, a SciFi author: whatever.scalzi . com/2012/05/15/
straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is

[3] Smith is the wife of Glenn Reynolds, and the two have promoted the Teapartiers countless times on their sites (Reynolds' site is, of course, a very popular blog).

[4] pjmedia . com/tatler/2012/05/16/
uncle-tim-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is

[5] Since they first started, Pajamas Media has been a very strong supporter and promoter of the Teaparties movement.

Other tags: multiculturalism

Sun, 05/20/2012 - 20:47 · Importance: 4