I’ve been trying to think of a term to describe tech bros who are suffering from a severe, but quite specific variation of the Dunning Kruger effect. You may have seen it more recently, with the whole AI reckoning.
Tech bros live in a bubble with other tech bros who tell them they’re brilliant, and they make inflated salaries. As a result have an over-inflated sense of their intelligence and competence outside of code/engineering.
I present the “Code-Savant Illusion”.
Engineers who confuse complex and complicated, and reduce everything (including humans and society) to mere calculations and tools.
But it’s not just that. It’s the hubris. They have answers to every problem. They wander out of their lane and they do so with enviable confidence, but it is utterly baseless.
They confuse their pay cheque with merit, because they have anarcho-capitalist brainworms and think that capitalism is a meritocracy, not a system where many mediocre people and minds get paid a fortune for compliance, not challenging anything in any meaningful way, and enforcing said system on everyone else. And, of course, run interference and turn a blind eye to the collateral damage.
Once it occurs to them that their salaries are higher than many C-levels, that’s when they become insufferable. They start to confuse that with actually being a C-Level, and think they know everything about every discipline, and can solve every problem.
They of course lecture everyone on the social sciences (they know nothing about), and creative industries (they know nothing about), people stuff (they have no people skills), and basically, because they have one niche skill that is in high demand, they think everyone else is useless, and everyone else is stupider than them.
There is a 10x multiplier if said social scientist or creative is a woman.
They write in condescending pseudophilosophical jargon and management word salads that don’t mean anything, which they then bludgeon everyone to death with. When people zone out, they blame the reader for not understanding them and their brilliance, because they conflate the ability to bore someone to death with being intelligent, or having won the argument, when mostly, everyone just gives up because they’re boring and annoying.
They also don’t realise that their field is actually not terribly complex, relies heavily on other disciplines for a good product, and code isn’t really all that hard. They don’t realise that STEM is often not about intellect, but patience, and how high your pain threshold is when it comes to boredom.
And of course, that whole thing where many autists consider themselves savants, because many autists ARE savants. But, unfortunately, they lucked out there, so have to instead deal with the fact it is just a plain old disability that they have not yet processed, nor accepted (note: me and my entire family are on the spectrum, calm down).
So there you go.
The Code-Savant Illusion.