If you were just a little smarter, you'd know how dumb you are! Errol Morris, the guy who directed The Thin Blue Line and The Fog Of War, has an interesting essay/interview up at the New York Times about the way our egos and our ignorance shape our perception and conception of the world.
"There have been many psychological studies that tell us what we see and what we hear is shaped by our preferences, our wishes, our fears, our desires and so forth. We literally see the world the way we want to see it. But the Dunning-Kruger effect suggests that there is a problem beyond that. Even if you are just the most honest, impartial person that you could be, you would still have a problem — namely, when your knowledge or expertise is imperfect, you really don’t know it."Donald Rumsfeld's "There Are Unknown Unknowns" speech would have actually been really insightful if he weren't using it as an excuse for the irresponsible casting aside of even known knowns in the invasion of Iraq. The New York Times's new feature "The Stone" (named after the Philosopher's Stone) also has a lot of other interesting essays, including one about Lady Gaga's brand of feminism and what it reflects about the evolution of gender roles.
"If I were given carte blanche to write about any topic I could, it would be about how much our ignorance, in general, shapes our lives in ways we do not know about. Put simply, people tend to do what they know and fail to do that which they have no conception of. In that way, ignorance profoundly channels the course we take in life. And unknown unknowns constitute a grand swath of everybody’s field of ignorance."