How can you know what you don’t know you don’t know?

Good that you are even asking this question, as most people never stop to think about it. They just go on blindly screwing up lives, corporations, our economy, governments, the world- pretty much everything and the best you can hope is that they somehow move right by you without impacting you.

There are plenty of examples- just look to the news at the last great screw-up.

You will find a person who made an uninformed ignorant decision – (except occasionally when they have malice) that know what you don't knowresulted in harm. What do they do? Most of the time they walk away, still in their own world ready to destroy something else. That was very true in the banking crisis. The crooks knew, the rest were morons. What’s worse, we don’t stop people like that from doing it again.  Because most of us don’t know their subject matter either.

We are, as a group, largely uninformed  and far too trusting.

We absolutely must become a better educated, more sophisticated, well informed population.

On a recent train trip between Paris and Lyon, I noticed the masses were not looking at just tablets but absorbed in newspapers and magazines about philosophy and science, and mathematics, and on a myriad of academic topics.

Here it’s likely USA TODAY, or the National Enquirer, or People Magazine, or The Sun. Yes, that’s a generalization but it’s more true than false.

There are lots of things we know we don’t know, the problem comes from us believing  we know something when in fact we have no clue- no clue about the answer- and no clue that we are clueless!

Look at politicians. DO you really think they know all about the blather they throw at us?

Do two of them REALLY understand the cause and effect of trade sanctions? Do we really want to pay over $2000 for an iPhone so it can be built in the US? For one thing, the surplus discretionary cash that would have remained in your pocket to go buy more stuff won’t be there.

Yes, the person here will have a job making iPhones, but the person you were going to help keep their job with your left over cash won’t have a job because you won’t have that leftover money anymore to spend.  [newsletter_lock]

The point is that neither Bernie nor Donald realize they don’t know the consequences of their proposals. If either were to be elected let’s hope their advisors would educate them.

So what about you- how do you avoid creating someone’s catastrophe from your ignorant uninformed decision about something you think you know but don’t?

Well since you don’t know what you don’t know we’re all screwed!

At that point it’s your guess. And it doesn’t work if you are not a lucky guesser.

That is unless you slow it down a little and spend some time analyzing the problem at hand and doing research to verify if you really know what you think you do.

There once was a military program called “ZERO Defects”.

Someone presciently asked, How come everybody has time to do it over, but they didn’t have the time to do it right the first time?”

Mistakes in judgement happen all the time. Many could have been avoided entirely IF the one making the decision just spent a little more time thinking the answer through.

Next time don’t presume you are right. Spend the time to find out.

What are your thoughts on knowing what you don’t know?


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