Towering Mountains of Ignorance
This was a somewhat challenging topic to take on in four minutes, so here’s a little more explanation.
I’m not saying that we don’t know things…we know lots of things. But particularly when it comes to social and cultural and economic stuff, we really don’t. It’s so hard to run experiments on the real world, that we tend to do the studies and then no one changes their mind and everyone explains the data in a different way.
But you can run the “Harry Potter” experiment again with different inputs because “Harry Potter” can only happen once.
Of course, there are people who are much better at guessing than other people because they know much more about the situations. People who understand, at least, what is and is not possible (which is an excellent place to start if you’re trying to, say, create an independent Palestinian state.)
Same goes for running a business…you will never take the most successful course, because there are infinite courses and only one maximum one. But some people are very good at finding good courses because they understand their customers and their markets and their employees and have fairly accurate constructions of reality as it relates to their business.
But the idea that it is the responsibility of every person to have an opinion on everything that matters…and then cling to that opinion as an important part of their identity, sucks. I don’t like it.
I would rather we discuss these things in terms of values, which is really where our opinions tend to arise from anyhow. So when asked “how do we create more jobs in America” we don’t really try to answer that question. We try to answer the question “How do we create more jobs in America while promoting our own personal values?”
For things like “How do you end a war” or “How do you feed hungry people” or “How do you eliminate poverty?” I’m going to admit straight up that I don’t know…and defer to the experts because they know a heck of a lot more than me. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. So, yay, I DON’T KNOW!!!