We find that the people most thoughtful about a given topic are also the people who profess to know the least about it it.
This heuristic is beautifully captured by Maria Popova in her conversation with Krista Tippett.
“As a culture we seem somehow bored with thinking. We want to instantly know. And of course, knowing is the cessation of thinking. There is this epidemic of listicles – why think about what constitutes a great work of art when you can skim the twenty most expensive paintings in history?”
Just as we stop exploring once we reach our destination, when we decide that we know something completely we cease thinking about it. Our intellectual world shrinks and calcifies. Certainty is the border we draw between our curiosity and the teeming, tangled, ever-shifting jungle of reality. It is beyond these borders that Black Swans prowl.
Catalogue the list of things you know, and resolve to un-know them.