We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Because it’s so easy to judge the idiocy of others, it may be sorely tempting to think this doesn’t apply to you. But the problem of unrecognized ignorance is one that visits us all. And over the years, I’ve become convinced of one key, overarching fact about the ignorant mind. One should not think of it as uninformed. Rather, one should think of it as misinformed.
I believe Hayek called this 'the pretence of knowledge' -
"If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants. There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, "dizzy with success", to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society - a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals."
For a couple of decades, I have live by the self penned axiom, "The more I educate myself, the more ignorant I realize I truly am".
I can't help but wonder if The Dunning-Kruger Effect doesn't apply to us all. It certainly applies to most politicians. I can judge their ignorance, because I recognize my own ignorance...............well, kinda sort of, ....................
I like my reality just fine, like Aviana.
Thanks for posting this. I followed the link all the way to the full essay by Dr. Dunning. Very worthwhile read. I'll resist the resulting urge to comment on any of the other comments above, (although I am a Hayek fan). "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." (variously mis-attributed to Lincoln, Twain and others)
One of my fav axioms is "I am not qualified to have an opinion on that subject." which I attribute to a young friend of mine, but perhaps he heard it from someone else. Now, I wouldn't want to get all Rumsfeldian, but we know suspect there are a lot of unknown unknowns, but there are some things we can know, and know for certain. For the rest, we'll just have to wait and see. :)
I don't buy into that false modesty, its pretentious and dishonest. If an attorney I hired or a doctor I consulted, or one of my own employees laid that line of BS on me, I'd kick his ass out the door before he could finish stroking himself.
Ignorance is like poverty. Definitions exist but are somewhat objective. A skilled doctor or lawyer could be skilled in their own practice, but quite ignorant in any other field of practice or aspect of life. I accept that I am ignorant about many things, and I am OK with that. If the comments were directed towards me personally, I am not so sure that that my remarks make me pretentious or dishonest. I considerate it to be an honest assessment of myself. You lost me on false modesty, but then I am admitting to my ignorance.
I am smart enough to go to Maggie's Farm everyday. I find that I get education here on occasion (like this article), therby realizing my preexisting ignorance, and wonder what else I don't know, but maybe should know.
I think I'll go fishing, and worry about it some other day.
I wonder if Obamacare covers preexisting ignorance.