Nullius In Verba
Nullius in verba, the motto of the Royal Society of London, is a latin phrase meaning “take nobody’s word for it”.
Writing taught me that I’m the easiest person to fool. Time and time again, I’ll try writing about a subject like economics or science and a few words in, I’ll figure out that I have no idea what I’m talking about. It taught me that many ideas, information, and mental models are taken second hand from conversations or content.
Understanding that I’m the easiest person to fool makes me skeptical of what people say especially if they have no experience or domain expertise. If one of my software engineering friends talks about physics, I’m taking their word with a grain of salt.
Even if the person has experience and they’re talking about their field of expertise, still take their word with a grain of salt. Even the smartest among us get proven wrong.