Tuesday, February 05, 2019

False Confidence

My abiding lesson of the last three years is that there are no Adults. It is tempting to think someone else knows what is going on. That the other people in the room have done the reading, and understand more than you. That Presidents, Prime Ministers, CEOs, Head Teachers, Professors, Nobel Prize winners and every other Big Cheese you can think of know what they are doing. Just because you dress a bunch of Dudes in suits, and pop them round a wooden table, doesn't mean they know what they are doing.

In reality, it is still one big game of Play Pretend. Some people, "Fooled by Randomness", have extra strut in their steps believing that their success is hard earned because they are more meritocratic than their unlucky Doppelganger. They are still making it up as they go along. The Emperor is wearing no clothes.

Most of the stories we use to make sense of the world are just that. Stories that have grown more elaborate over time, as their success has snowballed. Right up until the snowball reaches the bottom of the hill. The world is far too complex, ambiguous, and random for anyone to understand. 

Even Emperors need Generals and Lieutenants. They sleep, eat, and have limited capacity, faulty memories, and patchy understanding. Everyone.

At some point, we need to stop trying to spread our answers, and start making space for as many answers as possible.

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