Overestimating Ourselves

Everybody overestimates themselves. We all think we are better than we are. Too many people believe their own personal narrative no matter how flawed or fictional. For example, I thought I had a premise when I started writing this, but I overestimated my ability to pull cohesive thoughts out of my atrophying, depraved, addled  cerebrum.

It's not an evil parasite brain, it's a fancy hat.
It’s not an evil parasite brain, it’s a fancy hat.

There are a giant swath of people who are confident that in a time of great crisis that they will be the one to rise above the fray and survive or defeat the evil. In the gun control debate, the mantra arrises, “a bad guy with a gun can only be defeated by a good guy with a gun,” despite evidence to the contrary (there have been mass shootings at military bases, don’t tell me that you, weekend warrior, will be the one to be clear headed enough to stop a rampage in the midst of chaos to which you are completely unfamiliar). There are people who actively hope for a zombie apocalypse because they think they will be adept enough to fight off the undead. But they forget that they’ll probably have to stop and poop and that’s when a zombie will play peekaboo and bite them.

There are several studies that prove that memory is fallible and malleable. Our brains are not to be trusted. Our brains are constantly lying to us, telling us we saw something we didn’t, twisting what we think about ourselves, filling us with unnecessary fears and doubts of phantom threats. People drink and do other drugs to silence the ever-petulant vitriol polluting their every thought. Not me, of course, but, you know, “people.”

A visual representation of what my brain is doing to me.
A visual representation of what my brain is doing to me.

Witness testimony, personal recollections, personal narratives, they’re all incredibly fallible. Yet we rely on people’s personal recollections, contrary to evidence. It’s astounding to me that people will continuously point to the testimony of other people as though it’s perfectly acceptable as incontrovertible truth.

But what else do we have? How can I trust anything that is conjured out of my feeble, decaying grey matter? And is it “grey” or “gray?” There’s objective evidence (despite that even being rejected by some people whose brains won’t allow them to accept the reality of truth), but objective truth is difficult to find and sometimes just difficult to accept. If I’m being candid, this whole post is a my way of condemning my grotesque thought process. But I don’t know if my thinking that with reason and rationality or if my brain is once again trying to attack me like a drunk, sexually frustrated monkey with a knife.

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13 Comments

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  1. Over the years, I’ve sometimes been quite staggered by the arrogant-bordering-on-psychopathic confidence of certain people I’ve known. I’ve wondered what that must feel like, to have no doubts about yourself or your abilities. I’ll join you in that drink or ten, Pickleope.

    Oh and P.S., it’s “gray” in the USA and “grey” in Britain, Canada and everywhere else where people speak and spell using the proper Queen’s English.

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  2. This is why I ensure that my monkey is always satisfied.

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  3. abeerfortheshower August 15, 2016 — 11:05 am

    I think my favorite part about those neckbeards who actually want a zombie apocalypse is that they don’t understand that zombies are only PART of the problem. So you can kill a really, really slow dead human. Kudos. Now let’s see you survive the rest of the day with no food, no water, no electricity, and no shelter, when your average day is currently spent in your mom’s air conditioned basement eating a tv dinner she warmed up for you.

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    • My biggest issue is going to the bathroom. On TV, they never have to go to the bathroom (looking at you, 24), but in the zombie apocalypse, good luck trying to cock that crossbow whilst in the squat position and worrying about what’s behind you.

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  4. We can’t trust our brains. Then again, we can’t trust so-called “evidence” either. Documents can be forged, videos can be faked, studies can be tampered with… Basically, there’s nothing and no one we can trust for true & accurate information. We can only believe what “they” want us to believe and, if not we can listen to “them” instead!

    I may or may not have overheard one-too-many of the conspiracy theory videos my wife likes to watch…

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  5. “Gray” because you live in the U.S. Is it okay if I don’t overestimate myself? I’m a miserable, pooping idiot. When the apocalypse of whatever sort arrives, I want to die. I shall not fight zombies, nor any other creatures. I’m worthless, absolutely worthless.

    Love,
    Worthless

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  6. It’s gray in the US because we’re special. We’re the window licking short bus riders of society called the World.

    Personally, since I watch The walking Dead, I know I could survive a ZA. I might get a little pissy once a month when I can’t have my chocolate fix, but that will turn out pretty good as I take out my frustrations on zombies.

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  7. I have always feared the judgement of the overconfident because I have seen some of them get into deep poop. I therefore trust no one who thinks they know much of anything. Our alleged leaders are full of self confidence and bravado and yet display their vast ignorance on a regular basis. While your gray matter may be feeble to you, it is the realization that makes you much more trustworthy and self-aware. Does this make any sense or is my gray matter just up to it’s old shenanigans?

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  8. Grey for me just saying, maybe because I am an Aussie and that is how we roll.
    I get annoyed by judgemental people, because they are usually flawed and the last ones to judge

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  9. Fallible is my middle name. I’m just too obsessed with my own perfection are ability to prevent chaos to realize the beauty of this very fact. The freedom to defend yourself and shoot somebody is the ass is not the road that leads to fewer deaths. I’m a son of a gun so I should know. Fallible but knowledgeable and modest nonetheless.

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