Finally, an explanation for the environment at several previous workplaces, my career path, and of course George Bush's presidency:
The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon whereby people who have little knowledge systematically think that they know more than others who have much more knowledge... Kruger and Dunning noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis, that "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (as Charles Darwin put it). They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree,
- incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill,
- incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others,
- incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy,
- if they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.