Quotes: Know-Nothing Know-It-All

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"You see, this shrieking TV woman began by saying that she is not a doctor or medical professional of any kind, which already had me skeptical about whatever she was going to shout next. But then she delivered her position on why parents shouldn’t vaccinate their children in a much louder voice than my doctor, and it put some serious doubts in my mind. Would someone less sure of herself be able to be quite so loud? It seems unlikely."

"Too many people have opinions on things they know nothing about. And the more ignorant they are, the more opinions they have."
Thomas Hildern, Fallout: New Vegas

Martin: Do you have any medical training?
Gavin Dibbs: Oh, me? No, no, no no...But, ah, I read the trades, you pick things up, don't you?
Martin: No.
Doc Martin, "Preserve the Romance"

"Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this... A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.
Cliff Clavin, Cheers

Homer: I don't need any serving suggestions, you barbecue-wrecking, know-nothing know-it-all!
The Simpsons, "Lisa the Vegetarian"

Mulder: He just wants some dating advice.
Scully: From whom?
Mulder: Yours truly. (long silence) Hello? Scully? You there?
Scully: Mulder, when was the last time you went on a date?
Mulder: I will talk to you later. (hangs up)
The X-Files, "The Rain King"

Jeremy Robard (motivational speaker): I'm between mansions, buster. From helping people. Do you know how good how it feels to be me? Do you have any idea? Any idea at all how great it feels to wake up and realize you're a rich and talented and important person and in a waterbed with mirrors on the ceiling and more girls than you can imagine? And every time I step outside the door, I can choose which car to drive—if I choose to drive! I have five chauffeurs!
Maurice Chavez (host): Look, I hate to burst your bubble here, but I know you live in a very small apartment overlooking the gas works. You ain't a big shot. You ain't even a medium shot. You're an asshole.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Pressing Issues

"I have approximate knowledge of many things."
—The Demon Cat, Adventure Time

    real Life 
“When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities.”
David Hume

"You know it's time to sell when shoeshine boys give you stock tips. This bull market is over."
Joseph P. Kennedy (attributed)

"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance."

"Remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself.
Don't over-estimate your own merits.
Don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself.
Don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.
Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

"To the left of the fireplace, a chiaroscuro Neapolitan painting by Viola. 'Typical of early eighteenth-century South German painting,' boomed the journalist Joe Alsop. As Joe was an expert on everything, he was generally wrong on everything, particularly on his subject, politics. For thirty years we were losing to Communism, according to Joe."
Gore Vidal, Palimpsest

"Somebody's gotta stand up to experts."
Don McLeroy, former chairman of the Texas Board of Education

"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Rep. Todd Akin (MI) on pregnancies resulting from rape

"If knowledge is power, then the Internet is full of completely useless power."
Brett Erlich, Viral Video Film School: The Internet's Dumbest How-To Videos

"You can't call yourself a 'think tank' if all your ideas are stupid."
Bill Maher on the Heritage Foundation

"Paula Abdul judging a singing contest is like Christopher Reeve judging a dance contest.”

"What's Dubya doing now? He's a motivational speaker... It's kind of like having Lindsay Lohan as a guidance counselor."
Robin Williams, Weapons of Self-Destruction

"There's a kind of notion that everyone's opinion is equally valid. My arse! A bloke who's been a professor of dentistry for 40 years doesn't have a debate with some idiot who removes his teeth with string and a door!"
Dara Ó Briain, "Respectful Insolence"

"He's got a bunch of fucking dancing bears parading around in the ring, a bunch of women with silicone, and a bunch of club-footed, slap-happy fucking guys that couldn't work their way out of a wet paper bag. And he don't know the fucking difference. And he's out there beating up Ric Flair with a baseball bat...He made this statement: 'Well, we'll just teach actors to wrestle, because if I can learn to work in the ring, anyone can!' There's a goddamn news bulletin I didn't hear about when I heard about World War II and all the other great happenings of the past fifty years!: When did Vince Russo learn to fucking work?"

"When I say that you shouldn’t opine on monetary policy unless you’re willing to invest some time on understanding the monetary debate, I am saying exactly that. I’m not saying that you need a Ph.D. or a chair at a fancy university; I’m saying that you need to do your homework.

In a better world, none of this would be relevant. Policy disputes would be based on defensible, well-informed positions, on which reasonable people could disagree, and people who were proved wrong would acknowledge that fact and revise their views. Also, everyone would get a pony."
Paul Krugman, economist

"In every Cowboys season, there is at least one moment in which the Double J dismantles the authority of his coaching staff in plain view of millions, and everything falls apart shortly thereafter... 'Hmm, well, your spine looks messed up, but I'll need to see a replay of the other guy's knee to make a proper diagnosis.' The NFL has serious problems when it comes to injury management these days, and yet here is the Double J putting on his toy stethoscope and dispensing medical wisdom."
Drew McGary, "Jerry Jones Is Fucking Crazy"

"'Trump University' is proof that you can't make words explode, no matter how violently you combine opposites. Donald Trump can lose money in a casino when he owns it. He doesn't learn from his mistakes, he bankrupts or sues them, and the only thing he can teach people is that they shouldn't have given him their money, a lesson his educational dialysis facility taught well. It called itself "Trump University" despite a total lack of accreditation. A strip club could claim they were teaching anatomy with exactly the same legitimacy. It was legally forced to change its name by the New York State Department of Education, which stated, 'Use of the word 'university' by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law.' Even in New York, a city of shining spires to every kind of financial bullshit imaginable, it is illegal for Trump to claim that he can teach you anything."

"Collins College has the same approach to education as Nigerian Princes have to economics."

"1. Any theory is valid if it sells books, soaks up ratings or otherwise moves units.
2. Anything can be true if someone says it loudly enough.
3. Fact is that which enough people believe. Truth is determined by how fervently they believe it."
Charles Pierce, Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free

"If you've been wondering why Slate has been so terrible recently, so Upworthy and Buzzfeedy, it's a good bet the cause is the smothering presence of neoliberal turd Matt Yglesias. A twitterati with no degree in economics, he regularly suggests the answer might be somewhere in the middle and gives a thorough tongue bath to big business...Robots are just time savers like the cotton gin, so why be afraid of progress? I don't know, Matt, maybe because the cotton gin helped the spread of human slavery and it couldn't even fly around and shoot missiles at people. Presumably he later forgot he wrote this idiocy when he was lathering Amazon about their drones creating a new paradigm."

"Tsoukalos graduated from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York in 1998 with a degree in communication and sports information. That makes him uniquely qualified to speak on matters concerning the movie Jerry Maguire, but not so much regarding anything else."
Rational Wiki on UFOlogist Giorgios Tsoukalos

"If I were to create a list of questions to ask potential managers of my money, one of them would be: 'Do you read the WSJ Op-Eds?' If the answer were yes, I would not walk but run in the opposite direction."
Barry Ritholtz

"It seems like Gene Simmons, aka The Demon from Kiss, aka an old fart that has been lingering in the air since 1982 has realized that after his lengthy career as a rock god and a much shorter career as a reality TV star, he is edging closer to cultural irrelevancy. So, the man wrote a book, and boy, he's got some tough love for those freeloading have-it-alls he likes to refer to as 'women.'...Imagine that. A man famous boasting that he's slept with thousands of women and for the saying, 'if you want to welcome me with open arms, I'm afraid you're also going to have to welcome me with open legs' knows what's best for you ladies."
Isha Aran, "Old Fart Known as Gene Simmons Wants Women to Quit Depending on Men"

"It takes both chutzpah and a complete lack of intellectual scruples to be able to make two arguments that are so diametrically opposed to each other in such a short period...I don’t understand why, say, Jon Stewart, has helped this hack along by inviting her onto his show as a purported expert on the Depression. You really shouldn’t trust a word that she says or writes before verifying it with three or four independent sources."
Henry Farrell on Amity Shlaes

"Having equal rights does not mean having equal talents, equal abilities, or equal knowledge. It assuredly does not mean that 'everyone’s opinion about anything is as good as anyone else’s.' And yet, this is now enshrined as the credo of a fair number of people despite being obvious nonsense... To take but one horrifying example, we live today in an advanced post-industrial country that is now fighting a resurgence of whooping cough — a scourge nearly eliminated a century ago — merely because otherwise intelligent people have been second-guessing their doctors and refusing to vaccinate their kids after reading stuff written by people who know exactly zip about medicine. (Yes, I mean people like Jenny McCarthy.)"
The Federalist, "The Death of Expertise"

"Sherri confirmed to Deadline that The View has lost its resident science expert. A source (aka Sherri) tells UsWeekly that the producers were trying to get Sherri to stay, but they couldn’t come to an agreement about money. Yeah, Sherri probably wanted 1 trillion dollars and ABC wanted to pay her a half-penny a day since that’s what her thoughts are worth.
Jenny hasn’t shat up a statement yet, but I’m sure she’ll say that it was her decision to leave The View...she wants to devote more time to her real passion: bringing up the number on JennyMcCarthyBodyCount.com by telling everyone to stay away from vaccines."
Michael K., "Everybody But Whoopi Got Fired From The View"

"Jonah Goldberg legitimately fascinates me...he’s a protected mama’s boy and fancies himself a gen-yoo-ine scholar who thinks really deep thoughts and occasionally like whole dozens of words on his own and like opens a book or two and really wants to be accepted as the super-smart academifyness that he thinks that makes him."
Sadly, No! rebuts Jonah Goldberg's "What War on Women?"

"Chakotay’s spirituality doesn’t feel fully-formed or deeply personal. Instead, it seems more like a party trick he uses to casually entertain colleagues... the show’s creators worked with an 'expert' in Native American culture and heritage to help ground Chakotay as a character. Unfortunately, that expert was Jamake Highwater, a controversial figure with a shady history whose claims to be Native American have been challenged since the 1980s. So, somewhat sadly, this is the shape of things yet to come."
Darren Mooney on Star Trek: Voyager, "The Cloud"

"Jeffrey Lyons is the most reliable movie critic in the world…if you do the opposite of everything he says. He is a man so impressively wrong that you would do well to stay as far away from his advice as you can."
Miles Antwiler on Miracle at St. Anna

"This is Final Fantasy VIII's only optional dungeon, and it has the potential to be a doozy. Don't listen to a single goddamn word Zell says unless you feel like spending three hours instead of three minutes getting to the bottom. This is something I had to learn the hard way."

"Late in 1988, a former soldier of fortune and treasure hunter named Randy Widner invited Seagal, Goldman and another man to hunt for treasure off the coast of Barbados. At that time, Seagal had been telling Goldman that he’d been a U.S. Navy SEAL. Evidently this was one frogman who did not take well to water... 'The surf was unbelievable, really tough… He started screaming and panicking and was sure he was going to die and all that crap... Wildner had to pull Seagal by his hair.'"
—Ex-mercanary Gary Goldman on Steven Seagal, Spy magazine