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Sunday, October 30, 2011

At my current level of ignorance

A good friend of mine, gone over twelve years now, had a saying. After explaining something he’s often end with: That’s my understanding at my current level of ignorance.

This man was well educated, with degrees from Harvard and Yale. He had vast knowledge of many arcane and obscure fields of knowledge. His own research and writings were ahead of his time. His research was often attacked, not on its merits, but because it would upset current dogma. The man was absolutely brilliant.

Yet, as educated and intelligent as he was, he knew all knowledge was incomplete. What he “knew” today, could be overturned by discoveries tomorrow. It was a tremendous life lesson for me. Nothing is ever all figured out. You do the best with what you have, but always stay open for new knowledge.

That openness is a rare thing, especially in adults. Most people get a rough working knowledge of the world and are satisfied with that. Anything that threatens their world view is resisted. It takes the heart of a warrior to go forth boldly in a universe with no absolutes. Only the most courageous take that path.



  1. I know I don't comment here but I lurk all the time. :) I just wanted to tell you how much I love this post. I also would like to ask if I could quote your last two lines. It speaks to my heart. Thanks, Sci

  2. Sci: quote away to your heart's content.

  3. Forty years ago, at the advanced age of 22, a co-worker who was an ancient 40 years or older said to me: "I've been in this trade over 20 years and I can learn something from you". Fortunately, I listened and passed it on.

  4. I'm forever being asked how I possibly learned all that I have. Simple, I've never stopped.
    So many waste their lives, watching other people live their fictional lives on television.
    Life is much too short to waste just observing fantasy in lieu of living.
    An open mind is a happy one.

  5. Bob: there's wisdom for you.

    Spud: I always say, no matter how good it is, it's only television. There's so much more out there in the world.

  6. I have this quote ( It takes the heart of a warrior to go forth boldly in a universe with no absolutes. Only the most courageous take that path.) as well do you know the origins, I can't find the author? Thank you.