Misc rambling

Here, have some random stuff.

Confident idiots 

A couple weeks ago, I was in the YMCA sauna. There were 6 people, including 3 high school kids. One of the high school kids---who looked like a young Jonah Hill--- is excited he will be getting a car from his father and telling his friends about it.

He asks his friends how often he needs to get the oil changed on the car. One of his friends authoritatively says: "Oh, they will tell you when you get the car. It is every 50 miles." The boy says this so confidently that I am trying hard not to chuckle.

So, Jonah  is OK with that. They keep talking about the car. But then this occurs to Jonah. He says "Once my mom drove us to Wisconsin and back and it is definitely more than 50 miles. It was like 500 miles. So oil change distance has got to be much longer than that."

The boy who authoritatively suggested 50 miles for oil change says with the same confidence: "Yeah, that is it, you change the oil every 50 thousand miles. That is what it is!"

Why are the ignorant so confident? I know Lake Wobegon effect, and such,  but really why...

Weird dream 

(This was January 12th, 2018.)

At night at 2am, I woke up buzzed with a weird dream. It was a combination of Ted Chiang like predeterminism molded into the Bart Curlish narrative---the assassin-woman in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency--- kind of deal.

So, I had a mission, someone else had a mission to kill me, and yet another person had a mission to protect me. That last person didn't know his mission, but predeterminism forced him to jump always between me and the bullets, and weirdly he was also unaffected by the bullets. But, he was absolutely terrified, shouting hysterically and trying to escape, but every time he attempted to run away, he always ended up jumping between me and the assassin and involuntarily protecting me.

Slowly this guy realized that this was his mission, and even if he didn't want to do it, he would be doing it in a predetermined way. When he had this realization, he was very relieved, and went on shielding me from the bullets, this time peacefully. Around the same time, I also realized that I had my own mission, and that I will be indestructible despite all the attempts of the assassin. I woke up energized and buzzed.

Predetermination and a sense of purpose is such a powerful concept. If you truly genuinely believe you are predestined for a purpose, that might make you invincible.

Incidentally, my first post in this blog in 2007 was about a dream as well.

MAD questions

1. How should we deal with confident idiots?
The ignorance and overconfidence of that high school student was harmless, funny, and cute. Hopefully he will grow out of it.

But what if he doesn't? What if that overconfident-ignorance is then fueled by acceptance or even admiration? Confident idiots who wield power are not so fun and harmless anymore.

What can we do to intervene with this?

My mom told me as a child that it is impossible to change anyone's mind via arguing. I had took this into heart, and refrained from arguing with people on their opinions. But lately I changed my position. I still know I can't change anyone's mind via arguing, but I am now more vocal about stating disagreement and pointing people what is wrong with their opinions and positions. I put my voice out there, hoping that it may stop people getting more carried out with their opinions and echo chambers.

I recently listened to this podcast episode from Hidden Brain, and I think it elaborates these issues better.

2. What if you know you could not fail, what would you attempt? Do you think you have a true calling?

I know they say follow your passion is bad career advice, but shouldn't you try to align them? Even better, figure out your true calling and excel at it. If you believe strongly you are predetermined to achieve it, maybe you will. As Steve Jobs said:  Some things need to be believed to be seen.

3. Let's hope that the confident idiot does not believe he is predetermined to achieve a mission.

What if you are the confident idiot, rather than the determined visionary?
To strike a healthy balance, always doubt yourself and never doubt yourself.

4. Oh, and, blockchains and cryptocurrency. Discuss.


ankit said…
Your posts are always nice to read :).

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