My apologies for taking so long to get back to you on this. I have been offline for a bit.
I think that your first paragraph has a nice piece of irony in it:
Im not so sure if I buy this "if you think you are good then you probably aren't". Ive noticed that most people that fall into the "i think i'm good" camp often are the same people who fall into the "I can do no wrong, and even when I do there is _always_ a damn good reason" camp as well. And IMO its the latter psychology that is really dangerous. Not being able to admit (to yourself) that you've done a stupid (forgive the juvenile term :-) is the biggest drawback to learning IMO. When you cant admit your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them over and over. Critical assesment is a crucial aspect of learning.
The first sentence says that you don't agree with my observation that, if you think you are good then you probably aren't
. However the second sentence goes on to say that, on the odds, if you are someone who thinks you are good, then you probably someone whose feedback mechanism is broken. Which is what I said, except that I went into more detail on how the feedback mechanism gets broken.
About the rest of what you said, it is a good point that it is unwise to associate what I was talking about with a single stereotypical pattern of external behaviour. Likewise I think that it is important to not associate it with a single pattern. A note in the silver edition about a chapter written 25 years earlier says that, Looking over the first edition, I see that I was already protecting myself from blame in the way programmers usually do -- by moving to the meta-level. This is definitely true for me. Rather than take pride in my code, I take pride in how well I learn. Which means that when I am confronted with ways in which I limit my ability to learn from others (for instance by causing common communication issues to come up repeatedly, eliminating opportunities to learn), it is hard for me to accept that the pattern repeats itself, and that my behaviour has something to do with it.
In other words I suffer the same problem. Just metaed a level or two up. Which might be a better place to suffer the problem (or so I tell myself), but it still has limited me...