December 30, 2012
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This examination of the adversarial relationship of a man with his shadow explores the inherent duality of the individual and the struggle to resolve this internal conflict.
The narcissism of small differences (der Narzißmus der kleinen Differenzen) is a term coined by Sigmund Freud in 1917, based on the earlier work of British anthropologist Ernest Crawley: ‘Crawley, in language which differs only slightly from the current terminology of psychoanalysis, declares that each individual is separated from others by a “taboo of personal isolation”…this “narcissism of minor differences”‘. The term describes ‘the phenomenon that it is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and ridiculing each other’ – ‘such sensitiveness [...] to just these details of differentiation’. via
August 1, 2010
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The term “Peter Principle” has been around forever – one rises to the level of their incompetence – but I think there is more at work than merely putting the “In” in Ineptitude. The Dunning-Kruger Effect may explain it; our incompetence masks our ability to recognize our incompetence. (download the paper here)
From the wiki:
The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which an unskilled person makes poor decisions and reaches erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to realize their mistakes. The unskilled therefore suffer from illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average, much higher than it actually is, while the highly skilled underrate their abilities, suffering from illusory inferiority.
Now please, don’t try the old “They’re just pushing their limits/boundaries/safety zones and failure is a learning experience”.
That idea just allows people the practice to fail even more spectacularly at some critical moment in the future. One isn’t always able to learn the right lesson from any given failure, especially if one can not understand their own complicity. I think the main driver to the highly skilled person’s feeling of inferiority is that they do see and understand that.
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