You Have to be Smart to Understand How Stupid You Are

Bertrand Russell, a British philosopher in the late 1880s once wrote, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

Turns out, Russell was right. Research shows that people who are actually competent are far more likely to underestimate their abilities. And it’s not false modesty, either. __ Stupid People Are Very Confident

Why do unintelligent people often believe they are smarter than others? Perhaps because they have no standards of comparison, and have never been truly tested.

It’s been suggested that people do not have the ability to realize their own [in]competence. David Dunning, for whom the “Dunning-Kruger effect” is known, claims that we are simply not very good at knowing that we don’t know things… __ Are You Smart Enough to Know You Are Stupid?

Unintelligent people tend to rate themselves very highly when asked how good they are at something. They also tend to have high self esteem.

You May Not Be as Smart as You Think You Are If:

  • You’re more of a talker than a listener
  • You fake it. Big time
  • You discourage people instead of lifting them up
  • You’re always in the middle of a storm
  • You’re always so busy
  • You find yourself doing all the work, all the time
  • You spend hours watching bad reality TV
  • __ Source

And now in the age of Google, the problem may be getting worse. Even our smartest people are losing the power of sustained attention and deep thought.

[Pathologist] Bruce Friedman, who blogs regularly about the use of computers in medicine… has described how the Internet has altered his mental habits. “I now have almost totally lost the ability to read and absorb a longish article on the web or in print,” he wrote earlier this year. A pathologist who has long been on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School, Friedman elaborated on his comment in a telephone conversation with me. His thinking, he said, has taken on a “staccato” quality, reflecting the way he quickly scans short passages of text from many sources online. “I can’t read War and Peace anymore,” he admitted. “I’ve lost the ability to do that. Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it.” __ Is Google Making Us Stupid?

If this decay in the ability to read and think deeply is already affecting our professional, technical, and intellectual classes, imagine what it is doing to the snowflake generation that has been raised on social media and Google! And imagine what “the shallows” is doing to those who are not very bright to begin with.

“Those most lacking in knowledge and skills,” writes Poundstone, “are least able to appreciate that lack.”

This is especially true today in our information age. Because everything we need to know is readily available on our computers, we are less likely to learn things we think we can find online.

This is known by scientists as the Google Effect.

… rather than just freeing our minds from information overload, our failure to learn new things makes us susceptible to the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which leads to all sorts of negative consequences.

Since we’re firmly entrenched in a way of life that is dependent on Google and social media, how do we ensure that we remain commonly knowledgeable?

The trick, says Poundstone, is to read general sources of information, not just those in your particular area of interest or obsession.

“My findings suggest that those who aspire to be well-informed should not overdo the customization of news,” Poundstone writes, recommending instead an amalgam of topically broad sources. __

Although Poundstone’s suggestion is helpful, it does not go nearly far enough. Humans need to go deep in their reading, their thinking, and their working.

Once those three skills are mastered individually, they should be integrated together into one powerful flow of personal momentum.

the style of reading promoted by the Net, a style that puts “efficiency” and “immediacy” above all else, may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace… Our ability to interpret text, to make the rich mental connections that form when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged [ed: in the age of Google and social media]. __ Source

Societies do not always move forward. Sometimes their many stupid mistakes combine to push them backward, and downward.

The universe stretches out in every direction, almost entirely unknown to us.

Our ability to learn, understand, and grow wiser from our interaction with the universe is inversely proportional to how seriously we take the media and how deeply we are immersed inside a consensual echo choir (schools, antifa, climate cult, etc.). If we never learned to read, think, and work deeply — and if we never test ourselves to discover how full of shit we are — the long term prognosis is poor.


You don’t know as much as you think you do

Brain changes from watching TV and too much internet

Scientists discovered signs of atrophy of grey matter in the brains of heavy internet users that grew worse over time.

Speaking of political activism:

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” —George Carlin

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

—Mark Twain

More stupidity quotes here

Self esteem does not always correlate with achievement

Stupidity and ignorance are two different things — but in an age when the masses of the unknowing are proud of their consensual ignorance, the same end is achieved.

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