Dunning-Kruger effect and Creativity

I’ve recently found about the Dunning-Kruger effect on a blog post by Steve Yegge. Despite the fact I do like Joel’s book and even have used his technique on a few recruiting process, I’ve found that for everyday businesses, even Smart&Get-things-done guys can be too hard to get.

Anyway, the point I want to talk about is a side effect of Dunning-Kruger. While in college, in some classes, I would get to a point in which I knew almost nothing about something but was very creative about it, getting lot’s of ideas to do things that I didn’t knew in that moment were hard or impossible to do. The DK effect. But some of those ideas were worth trying for the learning. And even some of them, although they would be harder to execute than it initially appeared, were good ideas indeed. Because of DK, you don’t know the limitations and thus your brain is free to create. When you get to know a lot about something, limitations and restrictions are evident and thus your brain restrain some of those ideas. Anyway, the truth is that some of those ideas could be accomplished and be good.

Once, on a Digital Image Processing class, I had the idea of processing photographs of rooms, aisles, buildings, etc along with some makers. Then make a 3D projection of the markers to “infere” the dimensions of the room, making measurement of spaces simple as a click. At first, the idea sound great, and started working on the math. Then I passed through a disenchantment phase: it was like 1994, digital cameras weren’t readily available, the math started to be harder than I knew and computing processing was not so easy to get. Then I quit the idea and moved forward. Now, I know better and maybe it was a good idea. I’ve seen some 3D projections based on 2D images and are awesome.

That said, I will give a chance to those naïve ideas. Maybe someone could be good after all…