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6rant6's avatar

What things do people often claim to be brilliant about without proof?

Asked by 6rant6 (13619 points ) September 1st, 2012

This is about people being certain about their judgement in the absence of any evidence.

My first example comes from a theater director who told me, “I can tell right away if someone is right for the part.” And I thought to myself, “What you mean is you can come to a snap decision without effort. But in casting, it’s impossible to recognize the better actor whom you dismissed at auditions.” He was sure of himself, I’ll give him that. But as we all know, being wrong and sure feels exactly like being right and sure.

Then there was some television program where one of the characters repeats the old saw, “You can tell a lot about a woman by the way she dances.” Often this is intended to mean to know how they will be during sex; and of course applies to men as well. Certainly one can draw a lot of conclusions about the person who is dancing. But we have precious little feedback to help us refine our juvenile assumptions about the link, and even if we have lots of partners whom we observe dancing first, our time with them is colored by our expectations.

Can you come up with other situations where people hold out their perceptions as being nearly infallible without ever having evidence to back it up?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

In politics, everything.

filmfann's avatar

Religion. Your knowledge of it can be immense, but so is your ignorance of it.

majorrich's avatar

Bob Dylan claimed to have perfect singing pitch.

wundayatta's avatar

You actually can tell a lot about a woman (or a man) by the way they dance. Or at least, I can. And that is evidence-based. And you may have little feedback, but I have been dancing with people or making music for dancers for more than twenty years, and I can tell you a lot after dancing with someone. Most of it is psychological. But you can tell by the distance a person dances from you how they feel about touching men. That is something really interesting.

But people will make claims about diet, exercise habits, and god knows what else, and it doesn’t necessarily correlate with anything else you want to know about a person.

As to being brilliant—there do seem to be a lot of people who willing to tell you they are brilliant without offering one jot of proof. In fact, I mistrust any claim a person makes for themself. It’s up to me to decide how smart you are about this or that. I’ll judge it based on your behavior. If you tell me something before showing me, I pretty much assume you are lying. My idea is that anyone who can actually do anything lets their actions serve as proof. If you have to talk, it generally means you can’t back it up with action.

Cruiser's avatar

Their kids.

Coloma's avatar

Well, brilliance is subjective, soooo, who can say what is or is NOT brilliant.
Maybe my brilliance escapes you. lol

tinyfaery's avatar

Everything. I especially love people who say they are enlightened. I always think if one were enlightened that person would have no need to say so.

6rant6's avatar

@wundayatta I can tell you a lot about somebody if you give me their initials. If I think I’m good at it, that’s not evidence that I am.

wundayatta's avatar

Of course thinking you are good at it is not evidence. I can’t believe you thought I was saying that.

You need evidence, and I could provide evidence of how I am good at what I say I am good at. Surely you know enough by now to know that I would never say anything about myself unless I was super confident I could prove it. In fact, I would love to prove it.

6rant6's avatar

@wundayatta Of, yes, I see you’re superconfident. Yes, indeed. I see that. Never an issue, really.

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