Ignorance: pros and cons

We can often, but not always, choose to ignore those on the internet, on TV, and in our lives with different ideas, philosophies, or opinions about the world. Whether intentional or accidental, this is ignorance.

Ignorance is handy because it can keep us sane. We can’t know all the things or have all the experiences. We all value things based on our own experiences and learnings. We cross-reference that with our ego and emotions and come up with our “truths”. Conflicting “truths” can hurt, and so we only let some kinds of them in and trim our lives to exclude the others. This is helpful for reducing stress and making for more happy days.

It’s not great though, because it isolates us from seeing more of the world and understanding it more clearly. Many media fights/beefs/arguments are rooted in conflicting “truths” and collisions of ignorance. You ignore the value of a supportive government, I ignore the value of maximum personal liberty, and boom! we’re arguing. We’re not getting things done.

Personally, that arguing is stressful. I’d rather not get worked up about politics, governance, and technical minutiae if at all possible. Therefore, I selectively engage in ignorance. I try to double check my assumptions and ignorance occasionally; I find ignorance is a useful tactic, not a long-term strategy.

If you could imagine a world where empathy ruled and everyone possessed a superpower for compromise, you might see a world where ignorance isn’t so much of a problem and amazing things can get done. Oh, what a fantastic, science-fiction world!

Ignorance is bliss and that which prevents us from achieving really big things. Use your ignorance carefully and with consideration.

Adam Keys @therealadam