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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

"Be Certain, Not Right"

OMGosh, it's like they were SPYING on my childhood!

(This has long been the family motto, if you can't be right, be wrong at the top of your lungs.

We, the Louds, are, as the skinniest Loud brother say, pronouncers of "TRUFAX," things that sound vaguely correct, but of which the speaker has no actual knowledge; or opinions and guesses expressed as if factual.)

The Evil Futurists' Guide to World Domination: How to be Successful, Famous, and Wrong

You want to be a futurist, but you're afraid of being wrong. Don't worry. Everyone has that concern at first. But here, I've brought together ideas drawn from a number of books and articles that will help you succeed without having to be right. All you have to do is follow the simple principles laid out below.

Be certain, not right. People love certainty. They crave it. In experiments, psychologists have shown that "[w]e tend to seek advice from experts who exhibit the most confidence – even when we know they haven’t been particularly accurate in the past." We just can't resist certainty.

Further, confidence and certainty aren't things you arrive at after logical deliberation and reasoning: as UCSF neurologist Robert Burton argues in his book On Being Certain, certainty is a feeling, an emotion, and it has a lot less to do with logic than we realize. So go ahead and feel certain; if other people mistake that for being right, that's their problem. But before too long, people who listen to you will become invested in believing that you're really an authority and know what you're talking about, and will defend your reputation to salvage their own beliefs.

So no matter what you do, no matter what you believe, be certain. As Tetlock put it, in this world "only the overconfident survive, and only the truly arrogant thrive."...

Claim to be an expert: it makes people's brains hurt....

No expertise, no problem...

Get prizes for being outrageous, (I really like that one)

One of my sisters, though well into her fourth decade, is still a Brain in search of her own Pinky...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

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