First, read this article (“We Are All Confident Idiots” by David Dunning) so you know what I’m talking about.
We’ve all seen this, haven’t we? People who are very convinced that they are right about something–even something made up. Just watch Fox News (but not for very long–at some point it stops being funny and starts being terrifying).
I used to teach university students, and (probably due to my own failure as an educator) I could see this very thing happen. Students would be convinced they understood something, and then when they didn’t score well on a test they were confused and usually made no effort to understand why they didn’t know what they thought they knew.
Suppose, though, you’ve read your Socrates and your Hume and your skeptics.
Imagine you know the things you don’t know (and it’s a lot–pretty much everything).
Imagine you don’t even fully trust your ability to make patterns because you know you seek patterns and causes even when they aren’t there.
Imagine you don’t believe you are a good, capable person, because these things mean nothing to you and are totally relative.
Imagine you think every system of rule is wrong. That every belief system is wrong. That every ideology is wrong. But that you don’t have a right one to replace them, because it would be wrong too.
Imagine you struggle to form opinions anymore because you don’t have ideologies or sacrosanct beliefs. Imagine you don’t have opinions because you can’t ground them in anything and so they’re useless to you because you want something to hold onto.
At that intersection, you have me.
And I guarantee you, it sucks.
Most of the time, I don’t even feel like a person.