Archive for the ‘Attitude of Wisdom’ Category

Illusion of Certainty, Reality of Doubt

October 17, 2007

Humans have a “tendency to prefer the illusion of certainty to the reality of doubt.” [The Wisdom of Crowds by James Suroweicki]

In any situation we quickly become convinced that we are correct.  “This is certainly true, I am right.”

We should not be so quick in our judgments of certitude.

There are few things in life that we can be absolutely certain are true.  Even scientific “laws” are just theories that may be discarded at any time if countering evidence is found.

Best to act on your present knowledge while doubting what you know.

Best to adopt an attitude of wisdom.

Attitude of Wisdom

October 15, 2007

Wisdom means “knowing what you know and knowing what you don’t know.”

Behaving with an attitude of wisdom means that you act on your present knowledge while doubting what you know. It means that you do things now, as you keep learning along the way. It means that you compensate for your limited knowledge by building on old ideas and joining communities of smart people rather than relying only on your own insights.

Unacknowledged ignorance and arrogance stems from an absence of wisdom.

— Extracted from Hard Facts by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton