Tuesday, July 02, 2024

Defense against the DK

I really kind of hate recognizing the Dunning-Kruger Effect in others because it makes me aware I’m probably experiencing it in some way myself.

The friend I’ve mentioned before who “doesn’t need a gun” because she has had medical training and will use her keys for defense if attacked is one person who makes me uncomfortable for this reason. I see this effect in her all the time on so many different topics.

She knows so much that there’s really nothing she can learn from others. But most of what she knows isn't based in reality. Not even close. She doesn't know what, or how much, she doesn't know. She is the textbook example of the DK Effect in nearly every domain she talks about.

At least she makes me think. And, of course, I will never suggest she is experiencing the DK Effect since if she learned about it, I would be an ex-friend. It's just educational for me to observe it in action.

Then I wonder, if she can be so obviously wrong on what she’s confident she knows, how might I be wrong about things I know; about a need to initiate force and theft and thus a need to govern others? 

I do understand the arguments made by those who want to carve out a need for political “authority”, I just don’t buy them. And I’ve tried to see it from the other side. Hard. But maybe I'm wrong. If I'm an example of Dunning-Kruger I wouldn't know.

I do have a sense of what I don't know and how much I don't know (it's a lot). Maybe that's a bit of a defense against the DK. Or maybe I just hope it is.

Thank you for reading.