The TED Talks lecture by author, Kathryn Schulz, is excellent because she takes the time to engage us in a conversation about our obsession with being right. She challenges us to step outside of the “feeling” of being right and make what she calls “the single greatest moral, intellectual and creative leap” we can.
Another important issue that Schulz discusses is the dynamic of what happens when people disagree with us and the notion that we view all of our beliefs as perfectly reflecting reality. She calls us out about the “unfortunate assumptions” that lead us to believe that people who disagree with us are ignorant, are idiots, or that they know the truth, but deliberately distort it for their own purposes.
Schulz addresses the audience with a humorous and conversational tone, using plenty of examples to illustrate her points. If nothing else, this discussion will prompt you to consider how you view wrongness in your own life. Feel free to check out this short lecture below, or read the interactive transcript on the TED Talks site.
My Favorite Lines:
When it comes down to me right now — to all the beliefs I hold here in the present tense — suddenly all of this abstract appreciation of fallibility goes out the window, and I can’t actually think of anything I’m wrong about.
Schulz: How does it feel — emotionally — how does it feel to be wrong?
Audience: Dreadful, thumbs down, embarrassing…
Schulz: These are great answers, but they’re answers to a different question. You guys are answering the question, “How does it feel to realize you’re wrong?”
Realizing you’re wrong can feel like all of that and a lot of things. [...] But, just being wrong doesn’t feel like anything. [...] When we’re wrong about something — not when we realize it, but before that — we’re like that coyote after he’s gone off the cliff and before he looks down. You know, we’re already wrong, we’re already in trouble, but we feel like we’re on solid ground. So I should actually correct something I said a moment ago. It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right.
TED Talks’ Synopsis:
Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.
Watch it Now!