I’ll kick this off with a postulate.
In our day and age self-diagnosed omniscience is a very widespread malady. As a result of this self-diagnosis the world is populated with instant experts who believe that the entire universe will benefit from their sacrosanct and inviolable opinions. They are largely unaware that their self-diagnosis is very often badly wrong. Any being on the threshold of wisdom has sufficient humility and will therefore have an open mind and cannot be overly bothered with winning petty arguments. Those prone to argue the toss because of their self-diagnosed omniscience are providing the Q.E.D. to disprove their own expert diagnosis.
What do you reckon? Is there some descriptive accuracy to this postulate of mine?
Recently I have found myself saying to various people that I must truly be the luckiest man alive in that down the years dozens of people have judged my character and told me what I am, what I am able to do and what I am thinking about.
There are a number of things that people find very hard to believe. I’ll illustrate with a few examples.
Aside from talking to the wife on the ‘phone when she is in hospital and to friends of hers then, I have not had a personal, non-business phone call since 2015. This is accurate from within the bounds of my approaching senility.
In this day and age, few would believe this statement.
Because of all the meditation I have done I do not think unless I am consciously trying to think, I have precious little internal dialogue in my mind. So, if you said to me, “you are thinking X, Y and Z!” You would be wrong and transferring your mind function into your interpretation of me. My mind is very largely silent.
A long while ago someone was certain I was, in his view, a Man of Action. There was around two years’ worth of shenanigans based around this fundamental misconception. If I was to describe myself, I would say with certainty that I like planning, developing visions and understanding things at a profoundly conceptual level. I am not all that fussed about execution. Give me the next plan to make, vision to scope out. The person in question was perhaps mistaking a high functioning academic researcher for a doer. If you have your shit together it can look like action. I like synthetic philosophy. It never occurred to this gentleman that if he suggested a role to me, I might take it on as an experiment to explore perceptual space. I would try it on for size without ever fully subscribing to that viewpoint.
In my view the really strange thing is that all those people who have “told me” have never asked me if I think their assessment is accurate. It is not important to me if someone holds an erroneous and inaccurate opinion. I nearly said assessment there but that implies deliberation and thinking which is often missing in any proclamation. If people like soap boxes, it is no fault of mine
I’ll come back to miscommunication.
Recently we asked a French estate agent to come and value our property. We had a meeting in his office, and he handed us some worked up project document with property prices in which five or six property prices were fitted in Excel to what looked to be a polynomial series trend line. The graph looked all wavy and went exactly through each data point, there must have been a lot of terms in the polynomial, and he believed it was real!
On the basis of a ridiculously small data set he made a low valuation. Perhaps he felt this was a basis for discussion. He had a nice little shiny sales pack prepared which I only glanced through. That kind of stuff is like a cold wet kipper for me. The wife and I looked at each other and at the valuation and pretty shortly we left.
If he was anticipating a discussion in which we argued up the pricing, he was wrong. He went onto my mental “he is a bit of a wanker” list.
I’ll end this with a question:
Do you suffer in any way from self-diagnosed omniscience whether premature or otherwise?