Dec 082009


Researchers have shown that people aren’t good judges of their own performance and often tend to overrate their own abilities.  Some people think they’re way better than they are, and their own sense of self-importance just oozes from every pore.  You can probably think of people like that in an instant – whether it’s someone you personally know or a celebrity you know about.  Take Dave Mustaine for example. But people can misjudge their abilities in the opposite way too.

A few days ago I was talking with someone who told me about imposter syndrome.  It’s not exactly a recognized psychological disorder, but it’s something that researchers have studied and written about.  It can be defined as a persistent feeling that you’re really not as good as other people think you are, that whatever success you’ve achieved isn’t really deserved, and that other people have just been deceived about you.  Those feelings are accompanied by a fear that your lack of competence or talent will be found out and that you’ll be revealed as a fake and a fraud.

It’s more than low self-esteem.  People with low self-esteem might actually be unsuccessful people.  People with imposter feelings actually have achieved some success, but aren’t able to recognize and value their own achievement.  And perversely, with each new success, the fear of being “found out” increases.   I’m guessing there are people in some successful metal bands out there that suffer from those fears and who can’t enjoy their deserved success as a result.  Poor bastards. Continue reading »

Nov 252009

Taibbi image

Earlier this year, the brilliant journalist Matt Taibbi wrote an article for Rolling Stone called “Inside the Great American Bubble Machine.”  It was all about how Wall Street investment bank Goldman Sachs has been the driving force behind every major stock market bubble since the Great Depression, including the one that led to the market collapse from which our economy is still trying to recover.  The opening paragraph of that story has stuck in my head ever since:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Regardless of what you think about Taibbi’s thesis, you gotta admit that’s a pretty great opening blast.  As journalistic lead paragraphs go, it’s definitely metal.  In fact, there are some great potential band names in there, don’t you think?  Vampire Squid, The Face of Humanity, Relentless Jamming, Blood Funnel, Smells Like Money.

Oops.  Looks like two of those names (IMO the best ones) are already taken!  There actually appear to be bands already out there called Vampire Squid and Blood Funnel.  And they claim to be metal bands.  Don’t know if they’re worth a shit, but they’ve got good names.

Fortunately, based on a quick Google search, the other Taibbi names still seem to be available.