i cry while u sleep

but also while you're awake

10 July 2017


posted by tecco_dsilva at tecco_dsilva

I tried to word this one carefully to avoid being snobbish. It's called Dunning-Kruger because it depicts the thoughts I had while learning about the Dunning-Kruger effect - which is this thing where if you're competent in an area, you underestimate your ability because you understand the area well enough to know the detailed layers of it and see where you're lacking. Whereas if you're incompetent in a field, you don't have enough knowledge to see what you're lacking, so you overestimate your ability. It's more about competence in a particular area, but is often linked to intelligence. And it's true that I test well and so by most measures I'm pretty smart, but I'm also intimately aware of how goddamn stupid I am, because I'm inside my brain observing my idiot thoughts all the time. So the evidence that I am above average is very disheartening because I certainly wouldn't trust myself with anything important. And it's really not about people being less intelligent than me - it's more about how the range of human intelligence is quite small compared to the range of possible intelligence, so no matter where I actually do end up lying within that range, the idea that all of humanity is pretty close to me is kind of alarming. I can only pray that my perception of the upper echelons of intelligence is warped and the top 10% of smart people are really damn smart and not riddled with the disease of smart-but-still-human that I have.