6 thoughts on “The Greatest Enemy of Knowledge”

  1. That is the heart of so many stories, going way back.

    The young man goes to see the young girl, with the intent of proposing, he sees her kissing an older man. He leaves without asking what happened, joins the Foreign Legion, has many adventures, returns years later and comes across the young girl. She asks where he’s been all this time, and he says what happened. She says, the man you saw me kissing was my uncle.

    – The young man thought he knew what was happening, and never bothered to confirm it.

    That theme works on all genres. I’m trying to keep track of how many times it shows up in my stuff.

    Ah . . . I need to create a chart tracking these things. HA!


  2. The D-K effect.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 2011, David Dunning wrote about his observations that people with substantial, measurable deficits in their knowledge or expertise lack the ability to recognize those deficits and, therefore, despite potentially making error after error, tend to think they are performing competently when they are not: “In short, those who are incompetent, for lack of a better term, should have little insight into their incompetence—an assertion that has come to be known as the Dunning–Kruger effect”.[2]

    In 2014, Dunning and Helzer described how the Dunning–Kruger effect “suggests that poor performers are not in a position to recognize the shortcomings in their performance”.[3]

    • That was key to any Michael Crichton novel.

      You had people who thought they knew what they were doing, had everything covered, everything under control, then everything went wrong that they missed.

      Andromeda Strain shows error after error that was only clear in hindsight.

      When the events are reviewed, some third party always asks, why didn’t you see that coming.

      • Also the key to many horror movies when the first to die is the skeptic who has no belief in ghosts, monsters and supernatural happenings (and rather a bad real life lesson as it teaches that survival requires that you be a nutcase with an addiction to conspiracy theories).

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