I don’t know

I recalled a talkshow couple of days ago. One inquired a high profile keynote speaker after something. He went on and on with assumptions and presentation of numbers and statistics. In the end, all these showed nothing but inconclusive result. Then, I thought it would’ve been simpler for him to just say, “I don’t know.” There was no need to prolong those gobbledygook to sound like Owl.

 

Owl instead, is the opposite of Pooh, the Knowledge for the sake of Appearing Wise, the one who studies Knowledge for the sake of Knowledge, and who keeps what he learns to himself or to his own small group, rather than working for the enlightenment of others. That way, the scholars can appear Superior, and will not likely be suspected of Not Knowing Something. After all, from the scholarly point of view, it’s practically a crime not to know everything.

The Tao of Pooh — Benjamin Hoff (Just Pooh).

 

Why was it difficult or a crime for one to admit not knowing something? I found on-line excerpts from Michael Shermer‘s “Why People Believe Weird Things” I read years ago. And this particular one hits home…

 

[…] Magician James Randi is fond of lampooning authorities with Ph.D.s — once they are granted the degree, he says, they find it almost impossible to say two things: “I don’t know” and “I was wrong.” […]

#19. Overreliance on Authorities, Twenty-five Fallacies That Lead Us to Believe Weird Things

 

Hehehe, me thinks it may turn out paradoxical to over-rely on this article…..

I remember last year’s ramadhan, over a question in Tafsir Al-Mishbah at MetroTV —the only TV programme that’s worth watching during sahur— Prof. Quraish Shihab clearly stated, “I don’t know.”

And someone commented, “Wow, that’s sharp!”

I smiled in agreement. That was a sharp, honest, and wise response. Mark of a true scholar who knows his limits, what he knows and what-not. Too bad, so many public figures, TV and radio personalities don’t share that quality.
 

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