Wisdom or certainty?

Both wisdom and certainty are valuable, but if you have one, you can’t have the other

Whenever we decide to spend money on something, we are doing what economists call allocating a scarce resource one way rather than another. We could have chosen to buy a book, but we bought a coffee and a piece of pie instead. In fact, every time we buy something, we make a trade-off, whether we realize it or not.

“It seems to me personally […] that in the face of complexity and the high costs of acquiring reliable information, there’s something to be said for rational ignorance. The cost of moving even from being uninformed to badly informed is high.”

So perhaps the trade-off is not only between wisdom and certainty, but also between ignorance and certainty. Is it better — wiser even — to remain ignorant and to know you are, than to hang on to unwarranted beliefs that give you the comfort of certainty?

Written by

Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius

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