Friday, April 13, 2012

Finnish political humor

The so-called "Basic Finns" party (Perussuomalaiset) is generating controversy once again. Their Member of Parliament James Hirvisaari has a parlimentary assistant Helena Eronen, who suggested in her blog that immigrants should wear armbands to make it easier for the police to recognize them. Later she claimed that this was just humor - joke, joke! - and removed the blog posting.

According to her, not only immigrants should carry armbands, but also homosexuals, the Swedish-speaking Finns, and so on. Joke! Joke!

As you can imagine, this generated quite a heated discussion. And then some commentors started to really get into it, you know, into the humor part. One columnist speculated that if the party at some point gets into power, they could hire stand-up comedians to write their government program. Another challenged Eronen to a duel in standup comics.

But maybe we should really get into it this thing of armbands in Finland. For example, if you go shopping to another village or town, you should wear a symbol showing that you are not a local resident. Or what about armbands showing your IQ, so that anyone would know what to expect from you?

Well, what can I say. Maybe the party representatives should at some point read the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Andreas Manessinger said...

Forget it. They won't be impressed. Same here.

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Yes, you are right.

Well, maybe this is a case of the Dunning–Kruger effect.

Namely, when given the task of self-assessment of logical reasoning skills, grammatical skills, and humor, those who are the worst at these skills were found to over-estimate their skills dramatically. (And those who were the best, underestimated they skills.)

So, having no sense of humor (or reasoning skills), one may think that one has a much higher skill than average... and behave accordingly.

Andreas Manessinger said...

The problem is, that they always find like-minded followers. But then, somewhere I've heard it these days, 100 is the average IQ, now imagine that half of the people are below :)

Juha Haataja said...

@Andreas: Sadly, it seems that fear of the Other is not related to IQ, or at least there are some well educated people (even with PhDs) who preach terrible things filled with fear and anger.

Andreas Manessinger said...

True. Bare intelligence is not everything. Reinhard Heydrich was no doubt highly intelligent, but he still was one of the most unscrupulous and most dangerous Nazis. You're right and generalization is always stupid. My fault :)