Who knows, does not talk.
Who talks, does not know.
Well, this may be so, but as we know, Daoists in Tai Chi Chuan are quite rare hence there are a lot of discussions with experts and so called experts e.g. on the internet. Do these discussions help to illuminate us? If they do, it is fine:
I do not know, thus I am talking. Then I know.
Unfortunately, you may also notice, that often participants in discussions present their 'knowledge' or better their lack of it with great self-confidence, even though they may be rather unqualified on the topic. This could be explained by the Dunning-Kruger-Effect.
The psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger had noted in their studies that self-confidence with respect to a particular topic is greater when one has little knowledge about the topic than when one has a lot of knowledge. Through further studies, they came to the following observations:
- Less competent people tend to overestimate their knowledge/skills.
- Less competent people tend not to recognize knowledge/skill in the superior people.
- Less competent people tend not to recognize their own incompetence.
In summary, the Dunning-Kruger-Effect points out the tendency of incompetent people to overestimate their own knowledge/skills and to underestimate the achievements of more competent people. (Dunning and Kruger were awarded the Alternative Nobel Prize for their research.)
So, if a Tai Chi discussion is hotting up, I recommend to consider the Dunning-Kruger effect (Mirror, mirror on the wall ... hopefully I - Martin Boedicker - am competent enough to speak about the Dunning-Kruger effect) and to try it with Confucius (I, 1):
The master says: "If friends are coming from afar, is this not enjoyable?"
Perhaps one should just be a bit more generous, consider the other as a friend from far away and ignore their little flaws. Expect the Dunning-Kruger effect to happen - the others might just not be able to judge the situation correctly. Thus one can relax and keep friendship alive. Is it not said:
Taiji yijia - Tai Chi Chuan is one family.
Thanks for your time