I don't have any evidence for this but I feel like a LOT of bad things people do are motivated by the brain glitch that makes it desperately want to "feel smart"


This is an extremely profitable glitch to exploit. Get good at it and you can get people to do pretty much anything you want

The example on my mind is scammers. Making people feel like only an idiot would fall for scams is a brilliant way to get them to fall for it AND stay quiet if they do. But there are many more examples

Online discourse is another one. I feel like the main motivation for participating in it is basically just "being right", which is a subset of "feeling smart"

It's also been on my mind a lot because I've been listening to a podcast about the tech industry, and it seems like an extremely prevalent issue among programmers is that they value feeling smart way too much

Just. I don't know. Please be conscious that this is a brain glitch that exists, and that none of us are immune to it. My life improved so much when I started putting effort into decoupling my personal worth from how smart I was

Value kindness and making people's lives better instead, is my point

ableism, racism 

@socks It comes from a way of thinking about people as on a hierarchy, with superior "smart" people at the top with high "IQs", and inferior "dumb" people at the bottom with low "IQs". Largely invented to enforce white supremacy. It encourages putting people down to make yourself feel "smarter", because if you're not one of the "smart" ones, you risk being one of the "dumb" ones. That means everyone's on edge and insecure about their place in this socially constructed hierarchy.

We've learned to fully reject the hierarchy. It took a lot of effort, but was very worth it. Not only does it make us more secure in our mental capabilities, it also provides a much more accurate lens for understanding others.


ableism, racism 

@diligentcircle Yeah, I don't think I've fully unlearned it yet but I'm working on it.

I just really hate how prevalent the attitude of "being right at all costs" can be even in leftist circles, which you'd think would know better.

@socks a possibly related thing that we fall into sometimes is wanting to make sure people understand why we were wrong when we are

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