If you were expecting the usual ramshackle scribblings from me about nothing in particular before a jarring pivot to hot watch chat, well, I’ve got news for you. It seems the market for watches in Hong Kong, and thus for hot watch chat, has – how do I put this charitably? – well, it’s gone a bit pear-shaped. Over the past six months, Hong Kong has lost its crown as the world’s No 1 market for Swiss watch exports to the United States of all places, and you don’t need me to rehash the reasons why. That’s not to say this is the end of hot watch chat from me though. Horology and I are not “consciously uncoupling” like Chris and Gwyneth, rather I’m “stepping back”like Harry and Meghan . So I may dabble in watches from time to time, but the powers that be have suggested I write about other things. They’ve given me the freedom to pick a topic and opine about it, and let me tell you there is nothing more frightening for a writer than freedom of choice. After much agonising, I figured I would focus the first column on the bouts of impostor syndrome the whole idea of writing a column has engendered in me – that feeling when you doubt your abilities and have a constant sense of dread that you will be called out as a fraud. To be honest, I do feel like an impostor when it comes to this columnist lark, which is one of the major reasons I demurred. To be a good columnist, you have to offer interesting commentary and strident opinions. And while I’m world class at that in a pub setting, with people I can reliably call friends, I do often wonder, even as I write this, whether in a more formal arena my words matter. After all, hot watch chat was low stakes. But, looking around the world at the moment, especially at those leading us, it seems that impostor syndrome has been all but cured. It appears we are living in the golden age of the Dunning-Kruger effect – a cognitive affliction as expounded by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger whereby people think they are far smarter than they are and cannot recognise their own incompetence owing to an inflated sense of ego and inappropriate levels of confidence. Sound familiar? I’m sure the notion of the Dunning-Kruger effect is all too real for people who live in the US, Britain, Australia and even Hong Kong. And it’s not just in politics; society seems to be blighted by DK at the moment. J.J. Abrams really thought he could elevate Star Wars but instead, with The Rise of Skywalker (2019), he has perhaps shattered the goodwill the franchise enjoys and earned himself the moniker of J.J. Binks. The queen might be all flustered with Harry at the moment, but Prince Andrew – hoo boy – he is the royal poster child of DK, as he memorably showed when he tried to bluster his way through that notorious BBC interview, which is as amazing on the 50th viewing as it was on the first. And then there’s Kanye West , who along with Donald Trump , is the apex DK male. It is often men, you’ll notice. I’ll happily concede West is one of the most talented hip hop producers that has ever lived, but talent in music does not translate to talents elsewhere and you always feel like he is just days away from outing himself as an anti-vaxxer or a flat Earther. To return to my own anxieties as a writer, having the West-like confidence to spew forth my opinions isn’t such a bad thing as a columnist – it’s so à la mode, after all. But trying to remain grounded with a healthy sense of “you’re a total fraud, Rahman!” informing the output is also to be recommended, lest I fail to recognise the limits of my own competence. So as I chart a new course in the world of punditry, I’m hoping to land somewhere between a DK male and my more natural state of neurosis. I might not always be right, indeed, I might be impressively wrong, but crucially I will think I’m right and in the world we live in today, seemingly, that’s all that matters.