We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It's about the difficulty in knowing what you don't know, and the limits of self-observation. From this site (h/t, Coyote's Arrogant Ignorance):
…people who lack the knowledge or wisdom to perform well are often unaware of this fact. We attribute this lack of awareness to a deficit in metacognitive skill. That is, the same incompetence that leads them to make wrong choices also deprives them of the savvy necessary to recognize competence, be it their own or anyone else’s.
What's a "metacognitive skill"? It's about "the ability to reflect and assess ones' own thinking and understanding."
can it be learned? I think to an extent, yes. Seeing my kids through education in public school and just comparing it to what I received and was expected to do suggests that a big part of the problem with the schools these days (all the way through college based on job applicants and new employee I have seen) is the lack of this skill. I wonder then, is this a skill (one of many) that can be taught, no longer is, and perhaps is not valued highly in many corners. Hence, we have no more classical education readily available and few choose to pursue it; and those that do stand accused as those that "take themselves too seriously, are mean, perhaps racist, or simply too [intellectually] rigid as to become better informed."
I think we've got turtles with PhDs all the way to the top. People thinking way too hard (or at least getting grants way too large and writing papers way too dense) about something perfectly ordinary.
People familiar with the difficulties of a task generally know where they fit on a quadrille scale - pretty close. Those toward the lesser end of the ability spectrum will go somewhat easy on themselves and claim better ability than they have but not expertise or high ability. People on the high end of the scale will tend to downplay their capability.
There is little danger in slight exaggeration for the low-enders. They won't do all that well, nobody expected them to do great, they never claimed excellence.
For the high-enders there is upside to downplay. They know they'll do a good job, probably better. The worst that can happen is they meet expectations but if they've successfully set expectations a little low, exceeding them is more likely.
Knucklehead repeated the gist of the article, but the gist of the original could be repeated more plainly:
People at every step of expertise correctly know there are other people better or worse than themselves (no dunce considers himself an expert) but those at the lowest end think the difference between novice and expert is smaller than it is.