Think like a freak
I’ve been reading Dubner and Levitt's "Think like a freak" book. One of the early chapters takes us through why so many of us find it difficult to admit when we don’t know. According to the authors the most difficult words to say in the english language is NOT “I love you” but rather “I don’t know’. If you’re in business or corporate you see this all the time. People would rather lie and BS you than admit that they simply don’t know. Even in interviews (be it job interviews, college application etc.) you’re expected to have an answer to every single question….how dare you admit that you have no idea but will go on to find out more on the topic. We just have too many people walking around feigning knowledge. We’ve all convinced ourselves that we have the right answers and if only politicians, policy makers or the government would just listen to our solutions and implement, the world would be a safer, cleaner, richer place and we’d all be happy. We have a bunch of self proclaimed experts and 'leading authorities', trotting about, dispensing advice and giving predictions about how the future will turn out, how to solve the global warming crisis or how to eradicate poverty in Africa.
Funny thing (funny as in ridiculous and not funny haha) is that not a lot of us have spent time reading the research, asking questions after question, challenging our thinking and conducting experiments…..and yet we truly believe we have ALL the answers. Can you see how insane this is? I've written this post to encourage you to aks more questions, not to accept conventional wisdom (as it’s often wrong) and to promote a culture of experimentation and rich debate with people you hang out with. And also; I urge you never to feel so intensily that you're not willing to change your mind on any one topic. More often that not, intensity will cloud your judgment and make you less likely to budge. Now go forth and think like a freak.