monsterrancherI’ll be a good absent-minded university professor sometime. I have the eyebrows for it. When I do something with my hair, like now, they do stand out – don’t they? My nose and my eye-brows, make for an interesting look…

Today I bleached my hair. From raven black to blondish. Except for my eyebrows. So I have this clash of black eyebrows and wheat hair. It looks terrible, and I’m thinking about re-colouring my hair again. Make it a darker colour. Maybe blue. I’ll look like a Japanese animé character. Maybe

But when I don’t do anything about my hair, it’s curly and floppy. I suspect that if I leave it be, I could grow a natural dread-lock afro, or something. I usually straighten my hair, particularly when I keep it long.

When Mark came home, he looked at me with great scepticism, and just said. “Sweetie, your hair…” So he does not approve, even though he said I should do it. The bastard.

***

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The Donning-Kruger effect is when unskilled people have an illusory superiority about their own knowledge in a given subject. Sort of… when writer attempt to explain to me how the tax system works. Or when 14-year olds try to recruit you to a political cause.

If dad does it, I listen, because I can evaluate his competence in the subject. If my aunt does it, then I can evaluate it too. If some person on the internet who has an MBA in creative writing does it, I can safely disregard it.

Sorry, sometimes I try to hard to be polite to people. I think that may be a character flaw, and I’m not too keen to be seen as a total twat, even when I should shut people down. All this year we’ve been taught about RAVEN in school. RAVEN is an acronym from the Critical Thinking-subject that all the teachers try to impart to everyone.

The acronym stands for Reputation, Ability to See, Vested Interest, Expertise and Neutrality. We’re supposed to always evaluate our sources according to that acronym. I’ve found it quite useful in my real life at times. It makes me a cynical news reader for one, since nobody seem to withstand the RAVEN test. Mostly because I can’t evaluate any of the parts of RAVEN, or just one or two letters.

In some cases I am able to do so, and it is not a benefit to my positive image of man, like when a person with an MBA in Creative Writing tries to convince me of the deep conspiracies inherent in the UK tax system that disfavour poor people. It seems to me to be a living example of the Donning-Kruger effect at work.

I mean, there may very well be such a deep conspiracy. What do I know? I just can’t believe something because someone on the internet tells me so. Right? Maybe I was happier a few years back when I didn’t try to pierce the veil of verisimilitude so much in people and phenomena. Maybe a less restless mind not occupied with the Big Questions is an easier, happier, and more contented mind.

It beats lying awake at night with a head that just won’t lie still. And it would help to endure an hour long chat about the evils of the tax conspiracies against the working man. I could believe such things immediately, because people are mates, and mates are truthful to each other, and mates aren’t suffering from an illusory superiority about their own knowledge about a give subject.

***

I slept for twelve hours last night. I went to bed at eleven in the evening and woke up at half past eleven. Someone had pinned a post-it on my forehead. It had fallen off during sleep, so I can only guess that it was put on my forehead, but since he’s done it before… A big ink-heart with a taunt about my sleeping.

Now I feel wrung out because I’ve slept too much. I wish I was a normal teen guy that could sleep for twenty four hours straight without any adverse effects, but if I sleep more than eight I get listless and disjointed. And so… I feel that now.

There was a brown unmarked envelope in the mail, and that peaked my interest of course, but it was just porn. Sorry, it was a magazine about physics, but it may as well have been porn. I had hoped that Mark had ordered something exciting, but it was just a magazine subscription. As I leaf through the pages it reads like something that would come in a brown envelope: crappy paper, smeared type. Except the pictures are filled with mathematical formulas, and the text is filled with it too.

This coming week is going to be the last that Mark works for the brick-layers this summer. He’s agreed to take that up this winter too. I’m not too sure I like that. The next year is going to be so hectic. We have about six months to get into our universities, and I would like it if he focused on that. We’re not rich, but we don’t need the £60 or so pounds we get from the job each fortnight any more. With the rent from the girl downstairs, and with the allowance Mark get from his parents, and with my allowance, we’re doing all right. We’re not starving.

And we’re probably going to change the internet from Virgin to BT because Virgin is utter crap. We’ve been losing internet intermittently for the last couple of days, and when I try to ring the help-line I’m being put on hold before getting to speak with some Indian call centre personnel that barely speak English. So, we’re most likely going to switch during our “vacation” in Sweden. When we come home, the transfer should be complete. I just have to figure out if there’s a penalty for doing so.

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