10 signs someone doesn't know what they are talking about
It is a common tendency for individuals to make moral evaluations about topics that they are not familiar with. This could be due to cognitive dissonance, the desire for assurance, and a deficiency in comprehension. When they are presented with intricate issues, their instinctive reaction is to moralize by considering ethical implications and making moral judgments.
For example, conversations with people who understand AI tend to focus on empowering aspects such as practical applications, ideas, architecture, and how to solve real-world problems. While they are not blind to the limitations or ethical impacts, they don't dwell on them to the point of wallowing in an existential crisis in how people who are generally ignorant of the topic do.
If you see this behaviour consistently across multiple subjects, you are probably dealing with someone poorly-informed.
2. Employing Cognitive Distortions
Mind Reading, Fortune Telling, Overgeneralization, Unfair Comparison, All or Nothing thinking, Catastrophizing, Personalization, Mental Filtering, Discounting the Positive, Should / Hypothetical, Emotional Reasoning, Labeling
3. Using analogies to reason
Many concepts can be easily comprehended through concise summaries and cause-and-effect explanations. If someone needs to rely on analogies to express a point of view they are probably unclear what they are talking about.
4. Word Salad
Some people use vagueness and technical jargon to appear more intelligent, but they are trying to hide the fact that they are unclear about their own arguments.
5. Saying "it's too complicated"
When someone dismisses a topic as too complex or difficult to understand, it could be a sign that they lack the knowledge or expertise to engage in a meaningful discussion. Rather than admitting their lack of understanding, they use complexity as an excuse to avoid further exploration or examination.
Grandiose claims require grandiose explanations. Implying that only the truly brilliant can find a solution to complex problems. But can't produce evidence if that grand plan will work or has worked in the past.
6. Can't provide examples
When someone fails to provide concrete examples or evidence to support their claims, it casts doubt on their understanding of the subject matter. Without specific instances or references, their arguments lack substance and rely more on empty rhetoric.
7. Launching into personal attacks
Resorting to personal attacks, insults, or derogatory comments instead of addressing the substance of an argument clearly indicates someone's inability to engage in a rational discussion. It demonstrates a lack of valid counterpoints or the capacity to provide evidence-based arguments.
8. Straw man your argument
When someone misrepresents or distorts your argument into an exaggerated or easily refutable version, they reveal their lack of comprehension. Instead of addressing the actual points you made, they attack a distorted version of your argument that is easier to criticize.
9. Deflection or changing the topic
If someone consistently avoids addressing your points by deflecting or shifting the focus of the conversation, it suggests a lack of knowledge or understanding. Changing the topic allows them to steer the discussion away from their lack of comprehension or inability to provide meaningful input.
10. Overreliance on anecdotes or poor research
Instead of relying on verifiable facts, they heavily rely on personal anecdotes or experiences, which may not represent or apply to the topic. They reference dubious sources and unreliable websites or disseminate misinformation without critically evaluating the credibility or accuracy of the information.