There are essentially two kinds of people for every field of knowledge or skill: the incompetent and the competent. In relation to the incompetent among us the authors state that overestimation of ability is a consistent problem.
"The authors suggest that this overestimation occurs, in part, because people who are unskilled in these domains suffer a dual burden: Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it." More plainly, idiots tend to think they are not idiots and overestimate their own abilities because they have no ability to realize that they are in fact idiots. Perhaps this is all a truism and while I find the paper entertaining, it also gives me cause for worry that I might be in that sorry group and that I would never know it if I was. The other group, those top performers in society, tend to perform in the reverse...there by assuming that they are less competent than their actual abilities would suggest.
This,I suppose puts me at a bit of a cross-roads...a mix of extraordinary self confidence in some situations that may betray my ineptitude and a constant need of outside affirmation suggesting the opposite. It then follows that I am left somewhere in the middle of mediocrity. Of course, the theory breaks down a bit when for instance I know that I really suck at dancing and that I am not in that top tier that tends to underestimate their abilities...or maybe I am...dancing with the stars anyone??? Patrick OUT!!!
Of some other note, I am now approaching the one-year anniversary of this blog. This is my 86th post here which seems like a lot to me as I'm rarely as consistent for this long. I guess I had originally intended it to be a travel log of sorts and not the scattered vent session it has become but i'm happy with its direction thus far. I've also recently surpassed my 2000th hit and I am approaching 2500 page views. For those of you keeping track, that is just over 6 hits per day. So if I take out my family (4 people) plus my girlfriend (1 person). That means, on average I have 1 reader per day. So to you...unknown reader...thanks. I'm just kidding of course with that breakdown...I probably have two unique readers at least...maybe more because I know some of those listed above are not as consistent readers as they would have me believe. To that I raise my virtual glass and hope for twice that number by this time next year...tell your friends. Patrick OUT!!!
Switching gears, my lab life is starting to shape up a bit for the summer and next year. It appears that I will be going back down to AR for a few weeks this summer and then to a conference in washington state anothe week. In addition, a new student is going to be volunteering for 15 hours a week over the summer which is great because I will not be alone in the lab, and she can do the things that usually bore me to tears. Also, next year...I few more undergrads to work in the lab with me. I haven't met them yet but hopefully they will be OK. I've heard that one of them did less than spectacular in the intro biochem course...which makes me worry a little bit but hopefully he will turn out OK. Still waiting on a few others that might be interested in working in the lab, which I guess is a good sign that the undergrads I had this year didn't go running back to campus to tell people what an awful person I was to work for. Or maybe they just don't care enough to warn the next generation...either way, my gain. Patrick OUT!!!