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Confident idiocy

I read this article http://www.psmag.com/health-and-behavior/confident-idiots-92793  which goes into some detail about how Everyone Is Wrong About Everything.

But seems to me to miss a point about WHY they go on being wrong.  It seems to me that being a confident idiot is not just more comforting: it is also more workable and financially more lucrative than accepting your inevitable incompetence and curling up in a corner.  And it's not like whatever it is won't be done by SOME confident idiot, and very likely the other guy is no better than you.

Years ago when I taught internet skills to small businesses I would often meet people - usually women, but sometimes older men - who knew exactly how idiotic, unskilled and slow-brained they were.  And they allowed this knowledge to completely disable their ability to learn. It's all very well accepting that you are an idiot, but so many things don't require to be done to world standards: they just require to be done, and often confidence is the difference between doing them well-enough and not at all.

This has not been a good month for me. I have made some screwups.  I'm currently in that unfortunate state when you look at everything you do and think 'Blimey, that's crap'.   But it would be way too easy to allow those screwups to become overwhelming Monsters of Incompetence and flee them rather than sticking them with the pointy end. Also, being expected to get everything 100% right first time every time is not good for anyone, I'm pretty sure about that.

Sorry, this is rather a vague and general post.  Apparently I have a tendency to get bogged down in technical specifics, and therefore, I am now lurching the other way.  :-/

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
anna_wing
21st Sep, 2015 04:43 (UTC)
I've noticed this too - a tendency to think that one is stupid because one does not have a skill. I am not sure where it comes from, apart from general insecurity. The point about skills is that they are acquired by training and practice. I keep telling people that drawing, for example, is a purely technical skill, like riding a bicycle, and needs no aptitude whatsoever, just perseverance, but no one ever believes it.


Edited at 2015-09-21 04:45 (UTC)
bunn
21st Sep, 2015 10:24 (UTC)
Exactly. OK, there are the lucky souls who learn some things so fast that it doesnt' look like they are learning at all, but this isn't the norm, and I hate that people end up feeling stupid and useless and giving up!
wellinghall
21st Sep, 2015 10:03 (UTC)
I hace been getting annoyed by older people refusing to learn.

Why, yes, I have been spending a few days with my parents, and seeing aunts and uncles; why do you ask?
bunn
21st Sep, 2015 10:22 (UTC)
I'm so proud of the fact that my mum's attitude to new technology is to google for instructions. I mean, she does ask for help sometimes, but it's always a last resort.
wellinghall
21st Sep, 2015 10:31 (UTC)
Good for her!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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