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Unknown Unknowns - 8323
"But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don't know we don't know." - Donald Rumsfeld
You didn’t have Donald Rumsfeld jumping into your consciousness this morning on your bingo card, but alas … let’s jump in further!
The Daily Rabbit Hole: A plant that mimics other plants exists, but we’re confused.
“There’s drama in the plant world” was all I needed to read to get hooked.
There are so many things that we know, like ketchup’s speed out of a bottle clocking in at 25 miles per year, or that the match was invented AFTER the lighter. We know that clouds can weigh upwards of a million pounds, and that almonds are members of the peach family. We’ve also discussed some unknowns before too, like the fact that we don’t know how eels reproduce.
But what about the truly bewildering things that are beyond unknown?
The ‘Wait, What?’ Vortex: We … don’t actually know what the ‘p’ in the pH scale stands for.
Even though someone invented it, he never bothered to clarify.
The Johari Window …
With many “unknowns” we at least know that we don’t know. Is there even a word for things that we’re not even smart enough to understand? Not really. The word “mystery” falls short, despite our best efforts to pen it, as by declaring something a mystery there is recognition that it exists.
Since this is a complicated topic and one that can quickly devolve into semantics, it’s difficult to grasp. Which is why two psychologists developed the Johari Window in the 1950s to better understand the discussion as it relates to interpersonal relationships.
Naturally, even for those of you who clicked into the link, it is still quite confusing.
“The Johari Window is a framework for understanding conscious and unconscious bias that can help increase self-awareness and our understanding of others.”
Leave it to us humans to make a topic this grand in scope all about ourselves.
The framework is important in that it put into scientific documentation the idea of unknown unknowns - things we’ll never be able to know that we don’t know. Aside from that, and the potential for an overzealous HR rep using it to resolve a conflict at work, I’m not really interested in the framework as much as the fact that putting things into the archive bears significance.
We’re never going to know all of the things we don’t know, but we can put what we do know into storage that may (or may not) lead to something at another point in the future.
The important part is the act of putting pen to paper … keyboard to CPU.
It helps later on, even - or perhaps especially - when everything seems unknown.
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