Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Do we know what we do not know?

Chess is about thinking, which often leads us to spend time thinking about thinking. Nonetheless the sort of thinking required in chess seems pretty straight forward, and most chess players can recognise the shortcomings in their own thinking. Or can we?
I read an interesting article tonight which suggests that quite possibly we aren't smart enough for most things. It was framed in terms of politics and what sought of candidates get elected, but the gist of it is, if we have gaps in our knowledge, then we are unable to asses those gaps in our knowledge (ie we don't know what we don't know).
Having read the article the observations seem obvious, although that may just be the little "everybody else is an idiot" voice in my head. And I'm not sure it applies to chess players, as we are able to asses what extra knowledge can bring, due to a reasonably objective measuring system (the results of games).
The article is here if you wish to read it. And I'll leave you with an observation I read on a chess forum a while ago "If you think an idea is stupid it is because you are either really, really smart, or very, very dumb"

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