Difficulties of Recognizing Our Own Incompetence

obyvatel

The Living Force
gambeir said:
It's a basic human need to feel safe and to feel safe you have to feel like you understand your world.
If you feel like you understand your world than you make all kinds of assumptions.

I distinguish between "understanding reality" and "gaining functional knowledge to operate in the world". Example, we do not need to understand how a car works to drive it around.

I would agree that some humans have a drive to understand the reality. I do not think it is necessarily tied to feeling safe.

Assumptions are fine as long as they are compared with objective data and modified or abandoned if required.

[quote author=gambeir]

It is a fundamental axiom that the more ignorant a person is, the more that person will assume they know.
Ask an aboriginal what a rock is and they will laugh at you. Only a primitive being has all knowledge.
[/quote]

Cannot follow what you are trying to say.

[quote author=gambeir]
If we didn't have self inflated images we wouldn't make any progress as a species. I'm not convinced that it
would be to our advantage to correct ourselves of all our failing even if it were possible, which it isn't as what
then would be the purpose of living?
[/quote]

I do not think or feel any necessity for "self inflated images" to live and learn. Such narcissistic tendencies are artifacts of ponerized social conditioning imo.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
gambeir said:
At first I thought this quote pertained to either a dossier on my own self, or that of Donald Rumsfeld. Either way, if the boot
fits, you must wear it (Old Russian Proverb). ;)
"Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties of Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-assessments."

Personally, I learned a lot from my participation on this thread 4 years ago. Maybe I can now add a helpful word or two for someone else's benefit.

gambeir said:
It's a basic human need to feel safe...

True on principle, I think, and usually contextualized with regard to emotions in conversations and confrontations with others. See the book Crucial Conversations for more on this.

gambeir said:
...to feel safe you have to feel like you understand your world.
If you feel like you understand your world than you make all kinds of assumptions.

I'm not sure how those two sentences are intended to relate. With respect to the first, that may seem to be true for the sedated, emotion-addicted, dopamine-addicted authoritan followers who get their understanding of the world handed to them by others. As for those who wouldn't fit that description, those of them that I know wouldn't even think they understand the world. Rather, they would only agree that they have some sort of understanding that's subject to change and none of it is related necessarily to feeling safe. Does your experience differ?

gambeir said:
It is a fundamental axiom that the more ignorant a person is, the more that person will assume they know.

Fundamental? Sounds like you might be referring to a familiar psychological compensation mechanism. This phenomena is very observable as "bravado" posing as courage in some school yard studies. I have seen no empirical grounds for assuming this mechanism applies to everyone though, so I wonder...

gambeir said:
Ask an aboriginal what a rock is and they will laugh at you.

No doubt. In such a case, the aboriginal would likely see the questioner wanting to substitute symbolic knowledge for a direct sensory experience, when the question is best answered from experience.

gambeir said:
Only a primitive being has all knowledge.

Do you mean that a primitive being has only experience-based knowledge or am I twisting your words?

gambeir said:
If we didn't have self inflated images we wouldn't make any progress as a species. I'm not convinced that it
would be to our advantage to correct ourselves of all our failing even if it were possible, which it isn't as what
then would be the purpose of living?

Not sure I follow you, so I'll attempt a paraphrase: the purpose of living is to correct our failings, yet the goal is impossible so it is not an advantage to do any corrections because we would lose our purpose for living? Sounds like circular reasoning rationalizing stagnation, unless I'm severly misunderstanding your logic.

gambeir said:
I believe that to to pretend to be the fool to see if the unknown will reveal itself is certainly a clever tactic,

The "unknown" is unknown to an individual, not to Nature or the universe, necessarily. In such a case, we would only be tricking ourselves, I think. The old Monty Hall game show might show this better. Just because the particular door hiding the car is "unknown" to the contestant, it doesn't mean nature doesn't know. In fact, Bayesian probabilities are real and those probabilities say you increase your chances of choosing the car if you switch your choice when offered the opportunity. After all, if you only had a one-in-three chance of picking the correct door the first time, do you really think you chose the right one then? :)

gambeir said:
...but it's a waiting game, whereas to expose oneself and to be recognized as a fool is part an parcel to being human
and to learning in general.

Do you here refer to fool in his behavior as a genuine idiot in which case he may need some help in learning anything from the experience, or do you mean a fool in the esoteric sense which is a respectable path, IMO. If somewhere in the middle, I think 'fool' is maybe not the right word, but that could just be my preference?
 

Ruth

The Living Force
Álvaro said:
The first step to the knowledge of oneself and the world around us is to question the beliefs rooted in a lifetime.
It is necessary, as Bertrand Russell said, calling into question from time to time what it seemed a certainty.

Yes, I agree. Not enough people do this. Sometimes because they don't want to, and sometimes because they forget to. I guess you could say that there are two types of people. Therefore you have people who have deliberately chosen blind spots and people who have accidental blind spots.

Having blind spots, especially accidental ones, can get a person into an awful lot of strife.
 
G

gambeir

Guest
Buddy said:
Personally, I learned a lot from my participation on this thread 4 years ago. Maybe I can now add a helpful word or two for someone else's benefit.

Of that I have no doubt. It will surely be a joyful day for all others when the same can be said for me.


gambeir said:
It's a basic human need to feel safe...

Buddy said:
True on principle, I think, and usually contextualized with regard to emotions in conversations and confrontations with others. See the book Crucial Conversations for more on this.

I'm speaking towards a much more fundamental level Buddy: The level Maslow refers to as a foundation for life needs. A cornerstone of that pyramid which Maslow refers to as a human need fundamental to not going insane as a necessary requirement to life. So feeling safe, which isn't the same as actually being safe, is a fundamental need so basic that rationale life cannot exist without it.
http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/Motivation_and_Personality-Maslow.pdf


gambeir said:
...to feel safe you have to feel like you understand your world.
If you feel like you understand your world than you make all kinds of assumptions.

Buddy said:
I'm not sure how those two sentences are intended to relate. With respect to the first, that may seem to be true for the sedated, emotion-addicted, dopamine-addicted authoritan followers who get their understanding of the world handed to them by others. As for those who wouldn't fit that description, those of them that I know wouldn't even think they understand the world. Rather, they would only agree that they have some sort of understanding that's subject to change and none of it is related necessarily to feeling safe. Does your experience differ?

Perfectly clear then huh? The idea here is understanding the association between "feeling safe" as opposed to actually being safe. Many people are quite happy living under the delusion that they are safe, that the phone will bring help, and so and so forth. That's not the same thing as being safe, or as safe as an aware person whom, even if they can do no more than anyone else, is still aware enough to know that the assumptions of the unawares are dangerous delusions.

Assumptions can be founded upon delusional ideas, such as the idea that the police may come when called and are there to help, and that this will be the outcome for phoning them for help.

The defining point I have in mind kind of runs like this... in good humor of course;

So as an example, even if you're sitting there tomorrow and like a bombshell the TV announces that Obama has boarded Air Force One and fled to the Bush Ranch in Nazified Paraguay, taking most of Congress with him, and the rest can't be found, and the dollar has just tanked and is worthless, and the troops are all stuck overseas with no way back home, and the gas stations are running out of gas, and the grocery stores are on fire, and the news casters are now claiming themselves the voice of reason. Even if all that happens, there are those who suspect this was coming and whom however unprepared, will still not go crazy while others all around them lose their minds.

I guess that's a little too Kipling like for my taste as I prefer Blake, but you get the gist hopefully.

gambeir said:
If we didn't have self inflated images we wouldn't make any progress as a species. I'm not convinced that it
would be to our advantage to correct ourselves of all our failing even if it were possible, which it isn't as what
then would be the purpose of living?

Buddy said:
Not sure I follow you, so I'll attempt a paraphrase: the purpose of living is to correct our failings, yet the goal is impossible so it is not an advantage to do any corrections because we would lose our purpose for living? Sounds like circular reasoning rationalizing stagnation, unless I'm severly misunderstanding your logic.

Sometimes I make mistakes. You may have found one. I did leave myself a kind of out with the business of "not convinced."
Maybe I'm convinced now. Time will tell of course.

gambeir said:
Ask an aboriginal what a rock is and they will laugh at you.
Buddy said:
No doubt. In such a case, the aboriginal would likely see the questioner wanting to substitute symbolic knowledge for a direct sensory experience, when the question is best answered from experience.

gambeir said:
Only a primitive being has all knowledge.

Buddy said:
Do you mean that a primitive being has only experience-based knowledge or am I twisting your words?


A difficult path to follow Buddy, but the idea here is that a primitive man, a stone age man, has all knowledge of the Universe. He has an explanation for every single thing. Such a being might at first rever a modern person, but then after a time they will begin to think they are possibly crazy or stupid because they don't know the most fundamental things which they themselves learned as a child. A rock is a rock because of the spirit of the rock. That kind of thing. Only an idiot wouldn't know that right? :)

So this is like using anthropology 101 as an analogy to understanding the logic of people whom are primitives but living next door. Does that make some kind of sense to you? Years ago I had that specific example laid out as a way to understand that only someone who really knows nothing can think they know everything. Maybe teenagers come to mind.

So it is an analogy which is not to be seen as a way to view primitive cultures, rather as a pathway to viewing how ignorance constructs a false view of reality to deny its own vast ignorance. We all do it and mostly without knowing we are doing it.

gambeir said:
I believe that to to pretend to be the fool to see if the unknown will reveal itself is certainly a clever tactic,

Buddy said:
The "unknown" is unknown to an individual, not to Nature or the universe, necessarily. In such a case, we would only be tricking ourselves, I think. The old Monty Hall game show might show this better. Just because the particular door hiding the car is "unknown" to the contestant, it doesn't mean nature doesn't know. In fact, Bayesian probabilities are real and those probabilities say you increase your chances of choosing the car if you switch your choice when offered the opportunity. After all, if you only had a one-in-three chance of picking the correct door the first time, do you really think you chose the right one then? :)

You're a smarter person than me Buddy. I don't know anything about Bayesian Probabilities, but at my age I'll keep that in mind when I'm offered potential doorways, probably in the not too distant future, but to address this further I think Peter Sellers was the expert in depicting the question. For example, was Inspector Clouseau a fool or a genius? He also played a character named Chauncey Gardiner in the movie "Being There." In the closing scene Chauncey Gardiner walks upon water. Yet throughout the film he is depicted as a simple man completely shielded from reality and life altogether. So was he so navie and ignorant that by not knowing what was impossible he could do the impossible?

gambeir said:
...but it's a waiting game, whereas to expose oneself and to be recognized as a fool is part an parcel to being human
and to learning in general.

Buddy said:
Do you here refer to fool in his behavior as a genuine idiot in which case he may need some help in learning anything from the experience, or do you mean a fool in the esoteric sense which is a respectable path, IMO. If somewhere in the middle, I think 'fool' is maybe not the right word, but that could just be my preference?


Some pretend to be fools whom are not, and then there are genuine fools who try not to be, but everybody plays the fool from time to time. It is only in the light of day that we are exposed and must concede we have been fools. A fool is someone who's unaware of their folly though all those around them see it.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
[quote author=gambeir]
I'm speaking towards a much more fundamental level Buddy: The level Maslow refers to as a foundation for life needs. A cornerstone of that pyramid which Maslow refers to as a human need fundamental to not going insane as a necessary requirement to life. So feeling safe, which isn't the same as actually being safe, is a fundamental need so basic that rationale life cannot exist without it.
http://s-f-walker.org.uk/pubsebooks/pdfs/Motivation_and_Personality-Maslow.pdf
[/quote]

Yeah, I'm familiar with Maslow's levels. I have to sometimes refer to his model at my job, but I think it's incomplete. As a model supposedly generalized to everybody, it doesn't seem to account for the hundreds and thousands of testimonies from people who explain their 'risk-taking' activities as a need to feel alive. And we're talking about a whole range of activities here, from those who risk everything in an entrepreneur-type thing to the BASE jumpers. I'd say all but the most deadened of us feel this need and that it is basic and some of us do take steps to meet it, unconsciously or consciously, but most of us do try to include some safety net - even if it's just our study and practice of trying to gain competence in our chosen areas.

As a matter of fact, I seem to sense this same need in you in our conversations. I appreciate that we can talk and focus on understanding each other's view of things as we would IRL as if getting something right were a priority over proceduralized rituals of externally imposed behavioral constraints designed more towards keeping a dopamine economy going rather than actually producing something useful (I'm not referring to forum rules, though). But everybody's not this way, and this is not an ordinary chat forum. I'm just used to having to get things done independently, I guess, even when I'm supposedly working as a team member. I'm getting better though, I hope. :)

[quote author=gambeir]
So as an example, even if you're sitting there tomorrow and like a bombshell the TV announces that Obama has boarded Air Force One and fled to the Bush Ranch in Nazified Paraguay, taking most of Congress with him, and the rest can't be found, and the dollar has just tanked and is worthless, and the troops are all stuck overseas with no way back home, and the gas stations are running out of gas, and the grocery stores are on fire, and the news casters are now claiming themselves the voice of reason. Even if all that happens, there are those who suspect this was coming and whom however unprepared, will still not go crazy while others all around them lose their minds.

I guess that's a little too Kipling like for my taste as I prefer Blake, but you get the gist hopefully.[/quote]

I do, and I think Kipling was maybe onto something.

[quote author=gambeir]
A difficult path to follow Buddy, but the idea here is that a primitive man, a stone age man, has all knowledge of the Universe. He has an explanation for every single thing. Such a being might at first rever a modern person, but then after a time they will begin to think they are possibly crazy or stupid because they don't know the most fundamental things which they themselves learned as a child. A rock is a rock because of the spirit of the rock. That kind of thing.[/quote]

Got it.

[quote author=gambeir]
You're a smarter person than me Buddy.[/quote]

Pfffft! I can tell by the way you write that you will naturally be smarter than me in some area, maybe in multiple areas. I think it's more likely we both just try to do the best we can with what we've got to work with.

[quote author=gambeir]
I don't know anything about Bayesian Probabilities, but at my age I'll keep that in mind when I'm offered potential doorways, probably in the not too distant future, but to address this further I think Peter Sellers was the expert in depicting the question. For example, was Inspector Clouseau a fool or a genius? He also played a character named Chauncey Gardiner in the movie "Being There." In the closing scene Chauncey Gardiner walks upon water. Yet throughout the film he is depicted as a simple man completely shielded from reality and life altogether. So was he so navie and ignorant that by not knowing what was impossible he could do the impossible?[/quote]

Clouseau was probably a fool and a genius. I know people like that. Gardiner I'm not familiar with, so can't comment with any intelligence.
 
G

gambeir

Guest
obyvatel said:
I distinguish between "understanding reality" and "gaining functional knowledge to operate in the world". Example, we do not need to understand how a car works to drive it around.

First thing is I agree with you that it isn't a requirement to understand anything in order to function, but that was my point in a nutshell -I think?- Not too sure but I think so. Anyways it's not actually understanding that is required, it is the presumption that you have an understanding. It is immaterial if your assessment is correct or not so long as you never have to confront your assumptions. For example, you could say the car goes because its' spirit loves you, but then one day it doesn't start so you simply say that the cars' spirit is sad or something similar. Maybe you offer it an oil change or something, and suddenly it starts. Afterwards you conclude that any time the car doesn't start you will simply have to offer it an oil change.

But yes, you're right about this. I have used the same example myself. The same concept was used by television repairmen when those guys once existed. Nobody but a complete genius could possibly understand a television, theory and all, let alone create one with vacuum tubes, but that doesn't mean you can't still fix one even knowing very little. So I get what you're saying and the truth is very little of what we use today can be understood because our technology is now so advanced, and even those who do understand enough to actually fix things are themselves often fixing things using tools which they themselves probably don't even understand. This is probably not a good thing overall, but what it does say is that it is becoming a requirement to function without understanding what you're actually using in order to survive. Again, probably not a good thing.

Nevertheless, this all goes back to not questioning our assumptions about the greatness of where these gadgets have taken all of us. So it's all good and fine so long as the Sun doesn't decide to one day deliver another carrington event. When that day comes it won't matter how many oil changes we offer. That sucker is never going to get up and go.


obyvatel said:
I would agree that some humans have a drive to understand the reality. I do not think it is necessarily tied to feeling safe.

Yes, I get where you are coming from, but look at the issue from the perspective of someone who's been reduced to homelessness when you could never have imagined becoming homeless, or for that matter someone living in a cave in 2,000 BC.

Understanding reality is divisible then to that which is technological and scientific, and that which is spiritual. The late Professor Ernest Becker said spirituality was stone age technology, and it is then the oldest form of human technology. When I said that people need to feel like they understand their world this is where the unknown is filled in by spirituality and it's filled in because humans require the belief that they understand their world. Hence we have the mythological to explain the unknown, which is derived from spirituality as the alternative to lacking any other explanations or means to obtain any other explanations. This makes spirituality a kind of technology. A stone age technology.

There's tens of millions right now who are searching for answers to how they became homeless, but the important point is that these people will be given an explanation and that explanation is what they will believe. They will believe it because they don't want to take personal responsibility for not paying attention, for not truly understanding their world, and because accepting the provided answers is easier than actually having to think about what the truth really is, or what is the reality for their falling into this situation, and because they want to once more feel safe and to understand their reality (which in the homeless example they don't understand right now). So they will be provided an explanation just like a primitive child is provided an explanation why there is thunder and lightening. It will be their reality, and it doesn't matter if the reality is real or not. It's a guided reality, a planned reality, and they will accept that explanation because it's the easiest way to the comforting thought they once more understand their world and what happened to them personally.

This explanation will be couched in technological terms but the reality is it's an invention no different than one told to people living in a cave and asking for reassurance from the Chief or witch doctor. I'm using extreme examples like living caves and being homeless, but the truth is these explanations are what comes across the Television as news every night and out of "Officialdom" all the time.

Somebody better have an explanation, the Shaman or Chief, but someone and this is what I mean by people having a need to feel safe. People have to have a sense that they understand their world, which isn't the same thing as actually understanding their world. Most people have no real understanding of the reality of the world outside the front door, only the ones which the television tells them is the reality.

obyvatel said:
Assumptions are fine as long as they are compared with objective data and modified or abandoned if required.

Sounds good but few and far between ever question their assumptions and for the reasons previously stated. Mostly when assumptions are questioned, those doing the questioning are denied that the data in question is anything but objective, and hence there is no need to examine the conclusions, let alone modify or abandon them. Instead those whom question reality are most often labeled with various terms similar to those seen in the photo below. The resistance to new knowledge is titanic.



gambeir] It is a fundamental axiom that the more ignorant a person is said:
Cannot follow what you are trying to say.

Knowledge works inversely. The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

gambeir] If we didn't have self inflated images we wouldn't make any progress as a species. I'm not convinced that it would be to our advantage to correct ourselves of all our failing even if it were possible said:
I do not think or feel any necessity for "self inflated images" to live and learn. Such narcissistic tendencies are artifacts of ponerized social conditioning imo.

I agree that it is an ugly statement and thank you for picking up on this notion of self inflated images as a personal failing because our own failings as a society mirror the icons of greed and mass murder which are held up to be worshiped in our time. Why else would we ourselves have a self engrossed society ignoring the inhumanity which these same icons cause and whom we seem to enjoy validating as leaders? So why are we worshiping them and do we want the children to become like them?

Are we to have then an entire planet which worships the value system of psychopaths? Is this what we want?

Are we going to continue doing what we have always done? Are we going to continue to validate and support political ponerology, or are we going to do what you have suggested and kick the legs out from under the stool of this system? Are we going to ignore and invalidate the self appointed rulers and reinvent where humans are to go, because if we don't the outcome is assured, and it is that we going to commit suicide because that is the predictable end for following psychopaths as leaders and as icons to worship politically, socially, and especially in capitalism as supposed business leaders. These are the values the media is holding up and we are allowing these values to be the values held up as icons to each new generation through the systems of our own government who has handed them over to billionaires.

So you're spot on with this. You could not get any more on spot quite frankly.
What you said as a personal statement is in reality the evolutionary challenge which will decide if humans survive or not - IMO.
 
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