I could begin this post explaining how we all have something to learn from each other. How no single human being is perfect and how at the end of the day, we are all students at the venture we call life. This would be the kind of post that appeals to the political correct, the intellectual masturbators and the sensationalized bullshitologists aiming to get away with mannerisms.
We live in a globalized world where knowledge is abundant and free. Anyone can google anything and get insights that no single human has yet to stumbled upon. People travel daily across the globe, interact with people with different backgrounds, language and customs. If one was born in a westernized society and not some remote tribe village in Botswana, then one is expected to at least follow through the basics in regards to competency.
Once in a while we have the opportunity to sit around the table and discuss matters of business, history, politics, investing, movies, gaming you name it. Through those conversations, one can deduct with ease where one is standing in respect to another. Is there really anything to gain from that person in particular other than mind numbing chatter that satisfies the basic human communication?
Most people fall short of this because they are lazy to think about others. Thinking takes effort and when one is not trained enough, well, it is much like asking from someone to run a mile when they have never run before. They will just opt out or walk through it aimlessly.
Most people dress nice, wear expensive clothes, buy status cars or try to establish themselves through overly generic statements when they have nothing else to show off. Worse, the adopt the "strong, silent type" which makes one immediately likable since most people just reflect their thoughts upon another being's silence. The suit, watch, car, big talk, the clean cut, speak for themselves volumes. In much the same way, a cat's cute big eyes and shiny fur makes it adorable to almost all of us. Yes, most people are that dump and there is nothing they can do to help themselves. They just like to reflect their own emotions, insecurities and desires upon a silent, non expressive being, human or not.
So how do you evaluate these people in respect to your knowledge? Should they hire you or should you hire them? These are the questions you should be asking to yourself. Are you going to learn anything from them or are you just going to provide them with information for free? Worse, are you preparing yourself for the slaughter machine? Are you going to be taken advantage from a con-man that is more or less a clueless dimwit?
Well, give them enough time, play with their vulnerable ego and the pseudo-egoism shell will start getting chipped off. For example, I met someone once that was appearing big-shot to his community. Young fella with good looks that always liked to appeal important. After a a couple of incidents, I realized that he couldn't even distinguish popular spoken languages. For example, two people could speak Russian and Spanish and he wouldn't be able to tell which is which. Mind you, he is European.
Now, that doesn't disqualify someone from being "less than you" but it certainly raises a flag. How one could live 3-4 decades on this planet and not being able to understand the sound of different languages? What would take to reach such dumbfuckery? One can deduct that this person almost never traveled and rarely interacted with people from different cultures. In other words, he would be very close minded and with incredible limited perspective about world events. This person, most likely, will also know nothing about culture, how people interact, their likes and preferences. They most likely never opened a book about psychology, history, economics and they are just winging it by pretending they are someone they are not. And I was right. All the things this person he was pretending to be, turned our he was not. He basically started learning about "the world" shortly after he "faked it until he made it".
So take this one clue and observe how everything else false in place. Are your deductions working in regards to that person's evaluation? Remember, this is someone whom you might hire for a job, manage your portfolio, work alongside with them or get them to work on a project. If they can't have basic understanding of the world, no matter how good they are at what they do, they will flop at the first sight of difficulty.
We live in a fast paced world where competency and timing are everything. While almost everything is based upon luck, the tiny amount of competency that remains can give an edge to someone, sometimes and this is why it is so important to know how to evaluate those around you.
In the crypto world, I have met plenty of these phonies since this was primarily a place where libertatian rich boys gambled. Most just wanted to keep the government away from their pockets. Others where simple degenerate gamblers entering for easy money or worse, druggies getting shit over slikroad. Best case scenario it would be recluses and nerds who found refuge in the promise on the fringe of new technologies.
Now, this is not the place for the "best" people to hang out with so you have to dig your way through to get to the ones that are worthy. They almost all pretend that they are somebody they are not since who they are is not something you would want to interact with on a daily basis.
I remember when I came across the likes of Brock Pierce and Jeff Berwick I was facepalming myself at their ignorance and incompetency and how two people that got incredibly lucky they where leading a "revolution". One could easily decipher that they had no idea what they where talking about and resembled more cult priests than people who understood economics, culture, health, medicine or anything else really. Yet, so many people follow them blindly.
Other more "respected" figures in crypto only recently discovered basic dynamics of culture and economics. I remember a ridiculous tweet from Mike Novogratz arguing about a "higher" minimum wage not understanding that one can set any arbitrary amount and still not make any difference. Another one was Ari Paul, only recently discovering the effects of tribalism but being blind towards the very cult-like tribalism of crypto.
These are single incidents and in no way reflect ones intellectual competency in respect to yours. But, they do give a perspective, a starting point where one can work their way through. With enough effort one can find out who these people pretend to be and whether they are just winging it like everyone else, taking advantage of the lucky strikes as they come along.
But there are also the genuine learners, the ones who study, the knowledgeable. Vitalik Buterin, Eric Voorhess and Nick Szabo are prime examples of this but I doubt if most people could even understand what they are saying most of the time in order to interact with them. So there is a catch-22 here. You can be on a potato level where you can't understand what information is good and what is bad. And this is what is happening really. Most phonies just use the traditional appeal-to-the-masses technique that gets all the idiots who are impressed by shiny accessories, fancy talk and general bullshit. Most end up getting stuck in the stupid spectrum.
If you are willing to start deducting basic info from people, you will soon realize that most people around you are scammers selling false pretenses about who they are. Most of these people are individuals who are pretending to be someone, following character recipes found in books like "How to make friends and influence people". They are the leeches who will fill your life with bullshit, distract you from your goals and use you as means to cover up their own ignorance.
They "fake it until they make it" or better they "fake it until they make it, by stepping on you".