May 1, 2020

The danger of valuing confidence over humility

This is a really key insight in Ed Young’s superb piece The Pandemic Doesn’t Have to Be This Confusing:

A lack of expertise becomes problematic when it’s combined with extreme overconfidence, and with society’s tendency to reward projected confidence over humility. “When scientists offer caveats instead of absolutes,” Gralinski says, “that uncertainty we’re trained to acknowledge makes it sound like no one knows what’s going on, and creates opportunities for people who present as skeptics.”