Related to my last post, this has been going around among my twitter people:
Science makes me feel stupid too. It’s just that I’ve gotten used to it. So used to it, in fact, that I actively seek out new opportunities to feel stupid … the scope of things I didn’t know wasn’t merely vast; it was, for all practical purposes, infinite. That realization, instead of being discouraging, was liberating. If our ignorance is infinite, the only possible course of action is to muddle through as best we can.
Click and read the whole thing — it’s short, and it’s worth it.
There are times when you say “I don’t know,” and you find it frustrating or discouraging. And then there are times when you say “I don’t know,” and it’s exciting because it means you get to try to find out. I wouldn’t say “there are two kinds of people;” rather, the way this breaks down varies from person to person, and from situation to situation.
Independent to this, there are times when you say “I don’t know,” and you look into it, and it turns out that the reason you don’t know is that nobody knows, so if you’re really curious then you have to figure it out on your own. And if this is the case, and you’re excited to find out, and you think it’s an interesting or important question, then that’s when everything is clicking.
The importance of the incredible growing reading list, which I blogged last night, isn’t so much that it helps me find out whether the questions have already been answered. There are so many more questions than answers that once you get into it, you’re bound to hit on something. The importance of the reading is that it helps me to ask more questions.