On Double Ignorance.

Everyone has an infinite amount of ignorance. From things that we don’t know because we’ve been to lazy to find out, to certain universal mysteries that may be beyond our human comprehension.

That said, there is one type of ignorance that is the worst, and it’s the foundation of Socratic philosophy. It’s the ignorance of being ignorant. We can term this double ignorant.

It’s when you don’t know that you don’t know.

When you are not aware that the opinions you hold may not be that strong, or when there are serious gaps in your knowledge.

The reason why this is the worst type of ignorance is that it amplifies bad decision making. This is due to mistakes made due to incorrect data or assumptions that are never tested.

Often people are proud to hold their opinions in a principled manner, but this is the pinnacle of stupidity. If the data or surrounding situation and knowledge change, your opinions need to update to keep up.

This is the beauty of the scientific method.

A lot of what we think we know in the scientific world today will be proven wrong in the future. More accurate theories will replace our current theories and allow us to make better predictions.

There have been some arguments made that even some of the fundamental current laws of physics may not be as fundamental as we think. This is because the precision of certain physical constants are so accurate that life would not work if they were not exactly calibrated.

This hints that perhaps they may be variable and we are living in a specific universe, or part of a universe, where this constant is at a specific value. So there is a more fundamental law that defines how and why this constant changes, but we haven’t figured this out yet.

That said, we must move forwards with some foundations, and we cannot and should not challenge everything we see just for the sake of it. To further our knowledge, we have to stand on the shoulders of our ancestors who made many discoveries. No single individual will now ever be able to understand how everything works — the world is too complex for that now.

An example of that is the growing scepticism that the world is a globe. Many people have started to think again that the world may be flat or that they are not sure what’s the case. They want to use their own senses to understand the truth instead of using rationality.

Considering that the Greeks managed to calculate the circumference of the globe to within 1% accuracy thousands of years ago, this should be a non-issue. But, there are millions of educated people across the world that believe that the world is flat.

A useful mental tool, in this case, is what’s called Occam’s razor. The simplest solution with the least assumptions is likely to be true. Are millions of scientists across the world organizing a coordinated scam, along with tens of thousands of institutions?


Much of technology rests on the assumption that the world is round, including navigation and GPS. This would have to have been developed to not only work but to also fool us with 100% accuracy that the world is a globe when it isn’t.

But this is again an example of not knowing what you don’t know.

These people do not understand science, but they do not know that they do not understand it! And so they are even more confident in their own opinions than people who are actually right.

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