As Socrates said, “True wisdom is knowing you don’t know.” Some people cover their insecurities with bravado.Cockiness fooled me. I also got fooled by people who were genuinely secure with a tiny set of activities. They were big fish in small ponds, terrified of life outside the pond.
The basic idea is that the less an individual knows about the world, the more confident that individual is in what he/she does know, because a smaller world is easier to understand than an infinitely complex one. The more you know, the more you realize how much there is to know, and the truly limited capacity of your ability to know.
Intellectuals tend to be good with words, and they are more introspective than non-intellectuals. So what you may be noticing is intellectuals describing their insecurities while others — who may feel just as insecure — not talking about it as much.
The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. A true intellectual isn’t someone who knows a bunch of stuff; he’s someone who is constantly questioning and analyzing. He’s someone in love with mysteries, unknowns, and even failures.
Skilled people challenge themselves. Mediocre ones rest on their laurels. This is why smart people think they are stupid and dumb people think they are brilliant. The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt, Bertrand Russel said.
Thanks to the brilliant Marcus Geduld, Jessica Su, James Hanks, Visakan Veerasamy, Andrea Martin, and Stephanie Kaye Turner.