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88: Over-Confidence   September 9th, 2021

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Lily: We're trained to be over-confident. In school I learned that when a teacher asks me a question in class, admitting I don't know is not an acceptable answer. It's better to make something up.
Simon: I want my students to come up with theories. I don't want them to PRETEND they know things.
Lily: Sure, that makes sense. I was also taught to express my theories and opinions as FACTS, because writing "I think..." in an essay is bad form.
Simon: If you're writing a good scientific paper, you use phrases like "this evidence suggests..."
Lily: Yeah, but most people don't write scientific papers, we write persuasive essays. We pick a single viewpoint and hammer it in using manipulation tactics, with little regard for what is ACTUALLY TRUE. And if that sounds like the problem with political discourse these days, I don't think it's a coincidence.