The Pursuit of Ignorance

The pursuit of high quality ignorance

That science has this vast body of knowledge we draw facts from is a misconception. Science is really about promoting ignorance, but good quality ignorance is what we need—of the curious kind

There is a misconception that science has it mostly figured out. That simply is not the case (not oven fractionally close) because every discovery only compounds the number of questions, but that is really the point. If we accept science has arrived at anything, how will we know what questions to ask?

I think we all know what happens to a body of people when they claim to know the final truth. Rooted, stunted, immovable, and waiting for that truth to unfold—is at odds with the nature of everything. True knowledge is temporary and raises more questions than it answers.

Science is currently the best means we have to improve life by focusing on a narrow band of discovery, drawing from a well of facts where there is always another bucket. But to think we know…that would be the a travesty. Discovery generates more ignorance—and this is the type of ignorance that we celebrate, not willful ignorance of belief, but skillful ignorance of curiosity.

Excerpts and photos from this excellent TED by Stuart Firestein—The Pursuit of Ignorance