Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mind readers

It is amazing how many of my friends and relatives are amateur mind readers. They keep offering me advice, and it is nearly always based on unsupported hypotheses about what other people are thinking. They claim to know what the judge is thinking, what the psychologist is thinking, what my wife is thinking, what her lawyer is thinking, and what the average person would think.

In my experience, none of these people seem to have any mind-reading abilities at all. When they try to tell me what someone else is thinking, they nearly always turn out to be wrong.

So when they tell me that the judge will disapprove of some particular practice, then I usually ask if they themselves disapprove, and why. Usually they are unwilling or unable to give their own opinions, and yet they persist with the view that they can predict the judge's opinions. It is bizarre.

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