We don’t know what we don’t know

There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. — Rumsfeld

Day after day and hour after hour – particularly during covid- meetings came at a nonstop clip. Today was no exception. During one of the meetings that I had today I just sat in complete wonder as to what those meeting attendees were thinking.

At one point I wanted to say “we don’t know, what we don’t know”. That’s a factual statement. Some people unforgivingly and idiotically expect you to be some sort of nostradamus.

Sure, as an expert we can provide our estimates and theories and conjectures. However, at times, we just have to admit there are known unknowns. It was a weird coincidence that I thought of this just as I saw a newscroll that Donald Rumsfeld had just died. He was teased for stating that quote about known unknowns. I too laughed. But then I have found myself noting that statement many times. And today was such a time.

May Rumsfeld rest in peace.

And may we all recognize that we can’t be expected to know everything even when we are experts.

3 replies »

  1. The Irony is Both Fascinating and Delicious Now

    The More Science Attempts to Discretely Measure

    Nature And The More Religion And Human Same

    Tries to Tell Nature What to Do

    The More We Find

    Nature Has

    A Mind

    Of ItS own

    Who KNeW

    Nature is Wild And Free

    PerHaps At Best We ReMeMBeR

    Lest We Be Reaped By Our Own Ignorance

    Of Who We Even Are Yes Nature With A Mind oF iTS Own

    Liked by 1 person

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