On thinking yourself smart.

I remember when I was about 15-16, that’s when I started to feel smart. That I knew things and understood things that others didn’t. That I saw the world for what it was. And while I thought I was all unique and shit, but as you dear reader know, it happens to basically everyone.

And the funny thing is that, at that time, you really believe that you may be smarter than many folks. Somehow, it doesn’t strike us as strange that people who’ve lived twice, three, four times our lives may not be wiser.

And, I mean, it’s easy to think that you’re smarter than most people, just look at the world today. Everything is a fucken mess. People don’t all wear masks, people have parties. Racism is still prevalent. I mean just looking at the US, it’s pretty hard not to feel smart….

Then, in retrospect you kinda see things you missed. Some wisdom in others that you didn’t have at the time. It’s pretty easy to see it in hindsight, but in the moment…. not so much.

So what makes us think that now is any different? I mean, as humans we have a “now” bias. We only live in the now, it’s all we know and it’s currently the smartest we’ve been(1)kinda, I mean, my 19 year old self was way better at calculus than I currently am so what makes us believe this time is any different?

Now of course you probably see the false dichotomy happening. I / We as humans may be silly and ignorant while also being smarter and wiser in different respects.

Not only that, but it varies from day to day. There are many things I “know” that I don’t incorporate in my day to day. I know how to lose weight… it’s not currently happening. I know how to be compassionate, it doesn’t happen every day….

So how do we navigate that fine line? How do we figure out what we’re currently right about and what we’re currently wrong about? How do we not fall into that trap of binary thinking? It’s easy to want categorical answers. I’m smarter than those people, or those people are smarter than me. But navigating that balance…. it’s pretty much the same pain as my other post.

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. kinda, I mean, my 19 year old self was way better at calculus than I currently am

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