Why do people think other people know stuff they don’t know? For instance, my fiancé Kathi and I might be watching the exact same cop drama on TV for the same amount of time, and some plot twist will occur, like the lovely young woman getting abducted by the Evil Psycho Person, and Kathi will turn to me and ask, “Is she going to die?”
How would I know? Why does Kathi think I know anything more than she does, when we are both operating with the same amount of information?
Another variation of this is people assuming we know what they are talking about when we have no idea. This happens at work all the time. I will be called into a meeting and someone in authority will say, “Sam, we’re pulling together the LBB for Sales. They are asking for more on the Gershwin for national accounts. Can you get on that ASAP? Call Shelley and see what she needs. Thanks.” And then they’ll go on with their meeting as if they’ve just given me useful information to accomplish the goal. But I don’t know what the goal is. I don’t know what LLB is, or the Gershwin, or who Shelley is.
Maybe we just have to believe we all understand one another and that we are all smarter than we really are, because the alternative is too scary to consider. Maybe this is why we believe in psychics and seers and people like Bernie Madoff.