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How to Overcome False Confidence and Delusional Thinking:

Put Skin in the Game

The Dunning Kruger Effect and the Delusion Problem

· delusional thinking,false confidence,skin in the game

Problem: We’re meaning-making machines, but what if our narratives are wrong?

This is a derivative of the Vending Machine Problem.

The Dunning-Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people mistakenly assess their cognitive ability (or skillset) as greater than it is. This leads to a lot of incompetent people believing they can take on tasks and challenges far outside their capacities. And the kicker: they have no idea why they’re deluded.

Occasionally, and conversely, this effect also states that true experts will suffer from a lack of confidence, because the more they learn, the more they understand how much there is to learn. The well gets deeper the more one digs.

This is the inverse of the perspective problem. The perspective problem addresses fixed notions of dynamic reality that can and should be reoriented for personal empowerment. The flip side is: what if your view is extremely motivating and empowering, but... also completely delusional with no foundation in reality?

This is a complex problem, because true narratives are not always granted by current conditions, but sometimes come to be realities after years of delusional pursuits. This could be considered dumb luck. It could also be seen as the shifting of probabilities as your efforts in the world affect real-world potentialities beyond you.

The conscientious diceperson will test their edges, their assumptions on a regular basis. This is a way of sharpening your sword, of dispelling delusions that may bind you to false realities and prevent you from playing in the big game. It’s an odd time we live in, where people sitting in the stands believe they’re actually in the game. The dice should be a call to action that get you on the field with a bit of skin in the game.

This text is an excerpt from The Delusion Problem chapter in Reflections of a Diceman, the Law of the Die Nonfiction Appendix, which you can get for free by subscribing to my newsletter: Subscribe and Join the Tribe

Law of the Die - A novel about embracing randomness to generate momentum in life. Available at

Tom Fazio

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