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confidence boost! – how smart people do stupid things

18/05/2015 - Posted in random Posted by:

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reading time: 2 minute

I just finished reviewing papers for work and I have to say that was a very satisfying task. While it is tedious and annoying and you have to read a ton it showed me something very important about life. It gave me confidence in my own abilities. I was reviewing papers on topics that I had trouble understanding. I did my best to comprehend the methods, solutions and ideas presented. There were papers on crypto, surveillance and censorship and various other topics. It was a blind review so I do know who wrote these papers but those people are undoubtedly more intelligent than I am.

Nonetheless every single paper was lacking something. One paper was very technical and explained a ton of crypto and still it had spelling mistakes all over in addition to other formal mistakes. Other papers had even more severe mistakes like statistical errors or just some random Latex error message cutting of an entire paragraph. I am grateful for my job and I enjoy working with the people around me. I appreciate that I got the chance to be part of this review process. Not only was I able to learn about a very important process in science but this showed me something even more valuable that I thought was worth sharing.

one step at a time

While I believe in being humble and self doubting to enforce a steady flow of self progression and development it is good to know that all the other people out there are just humans as well. They may be bright as the sun and exceed you in something and still – they are human. As humans their work is not free of mistakes, no matter how skilled they are. At least to me this is a very empowering piece of knowledge. So the verdict here is, we are all humans and we should try our best. Even if we fail or make mistakes we should not be devastated. Mistakes are part of gaining knowledge and experience.
So whatever you do, be it learning an instrument, writing a program consisting of a billion lines of code, training for the next marathon, keep in mind that when you fail, you just got one step closer to the solution and that even your idols are making mistakes.

 

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