Sunday, April 06, 2003

My wants are few. For one thing, I want to be omniscient (basically, all-knowing). When I was a teenager, I thought I was well on my way. But as time passed, it dawned on me that it was just arrogance - a good substitute, in a pinch. For example, often when I’m walking with other people I will realize that THEY THINK I KNOW WHERE I’M GOING and are following me. Of course, some people might say that you shouldn’t walk confidently in front if you don’t know where you are going. But I’m actually following them, because I look back every so often to see if they are still there. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that this is a technique to “get anyone to follow you.”

But back to the subject of omniscience. Of course I won’t get there overnight, which really annoys me. First I have to move through some stages. This is where “The Four Stages of Learning” comes in. According to this concept, I’m incompetent. But more on that later.

The first stage is Unconscious Incompetence. You don’t know what you don’t know. You have more confidence than ability. Most teenagers and people who walk confidently into walls fall into this category. I wonder if you stay at this stage until you figure out exactly what it is you need to learn, even if you know you need to learn something. At any rate, don’t sign any important papers when you are at this stage. (Unfortunately, most marriage licenses are signed at this stage.)

The second stage is Conscious Incompetence. You know that you don’t know. This is where I get excited, because I may be incompetent now, but just WAIT until I become fully aware of it!

The third stage is Conscious Competence. You’ve learned the skill, but it hasn’t become a habit. You have to consciously perform the steps involved.

The fourth stage is Unconscious Competence. You have repeated the steps so many times, it’s become automatic and does not require your full attention.

If this Omniscience thing doesn't pan out, I may consider Arrogant Incompetence. Think of it as a new category between Unconscious and Conscious Incompetence. Because, in this world of instant gratification, I can have it now. So don’t follow me, because I don’t remember where we parked.


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