Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Years ago, I was surprised to learn that a doctor I knew–a literal doctor–believed that the earth was flat. This astounded me.

Didn't she take history classes? Science classes? Didn't she go to medical school?

You'd think that someone with her resume and pedigree wouldn't believe in nonsense like that, but there you have it.

People have a way of surprising you–and disappointing you for that matter.

Turns out other people have been similarly disappointed (or have stumbled upon an idiot or two) and they were keen to share their stories after Redditor citizen_of_leship asked the online community,

"Who isn't as smart as people think?"

"Any television doctor..."

"Any television doctor, but a special shout out to Dr. Oz - who peddles homeopathic BS weight loss medicine that is legit dangerous for people."


How people can watch Dr. Oz (or Dr. Phil for that matter) and not feel enraged is beyond me.

"The neighbor's child..."

"The neighbor's child my mother keeps comparing me to."


Parents really shouldn't compare their children to others. It only breeds resentment.

"People who can..."

"People who can solve Rubik's cubes. We're not smart, we just want people to think we are."


"I am a programmer..."

"Programmers. I am a programmer and I spend 10 hours on a misspelled word. I saw other programmers spending a long time fixing a misspelled word too."


I feel like every programmer says this about every other programmer and they're probably all correct.

"You grow up thinking..."

"Parents - you grow up thinking they have it all figured out and know everything. Then you become one and you realize that it's all a facade you put on for your kids so they feel safe and secure. And there is something wholesome about that."


Once I realized this and accepted this, I had a lot more peace of mind (and it improved my relationship with my parent).

"I can't believe..."

"Me. I can't believe the schools, career positions, and opportunities I've gotten just because I am very confident, well-spoken, and can crush an interview."

"Just because I have a large vocabulary and use "big" words, people constantly waayyy over-estimate my actual intelligence. I could be the literal poster child for 'fake it til ya make it.'"


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"They're not qualified..."

"Engineers. I am one, I work with a lot of them, most are some of the most inept humans I've ever had the misfortune to know."

"They're not qualified to do or think about anything other than the very specific thing they're trained to do, and yet they all think they're qualified to do any job."


I will refer to my prior comment about programmers – it's also true of engineers I've met over the years!

"People always overestimate..."

"Themselves! People always overestimate their own intelligence and it's annoying!"


I am guilty of this, too. I can admit it.

And so are you!

"While he's an expert..."

"Neil Degrasse Tyson."

"While he's an expert in his field, he has a tendency to over-extend himself and comment on areas in which he is not an expert."

"Over a decade ago, I saw him speak at my college, and I was stunned at how many things he said that were factually inaccurate. Being an astrophysicist does not make you an expert in, say, biology, and he said several things that were wrong or misinformed."

"And he said them with total confidence."

"I don't remember the specifics, but I went there as a young biology major and I remember the next day in my embryology class, everyone was like, 'Hey, why did Neil Degrasse Tyson say a bunch of blatantly wrong stuff about biology and evolution? Did we misinterpret it somehow or did he just seem to not know what the hell he was talking about?'"

"In years since he's said things on Twitter that were later disproven, and he never seems to have the humility to say, 'That's outside my field of expertise and I can't comment on it, let me refer to another expert.'"

"Part of being smart is knowing that you don't know everything, and I find Neil Degrasse Tyson to be insufferably arrogant."


Did any of you feel personally attacked by any of these? It's okay.

I'm a writer. I've been guilty of self-importance. And I know quite a few people in this field who have not (and think everyone around them is simply denying them the opportunity to burst into brilliance).

Some humbling might be in order.

Have some observations of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!

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