What does it take to repeat them?

Olimpiu Urcan writes:

Making mistakes is human, but it takes a superhuman dose of ego and ignorance to repeat them after you’ve been publicly admonished about them.

Not superhuman at all, unfortunately. We see it all the time. All. The. Time.

I’m reminded of the very first time I contacted newspaper columnist David Brooks to point out one of his published errors. I honestly thought he’d issue a correction. But no, he just dodged it. Dude couldn’t handle the idea that he might have ever been wrong.

Similarly with those people who publish all those goofy research claims. Very rarely do they seem to be able to admit they made a mistake. I’m not talking about fraud or scientific misconduct here, just admitting an honest mistake of the sort that can happen to any of us. Nope. On the rare occasion when a scientist does admit a mistake, it’s cause for celebration.

So, no. Unfortunately I disagree with Urcan that repeating mistakes is anything superhuman. Repeating mistakes is standard operating practice, and it goes right along with never wanting to accept that an error was made in the first place.

This bit from Urcan I do agree with, though:

For plagiarists, scammers and utter incompetents to thrive, they seek enablers with the same desperation and urgency leeches seek hemoglobin banks.

Well put. And these enablers are all over the place. Some people even seem to make a career of it. I can see why they do it. If you help a scammer, he might help you in return. And you get to feel like a nice person, too. As long as you don’t think too hard about the people wasting their time reading the scammer’s products.