Thursday, October 13, 2011

Art of Finding & Learning (#8): In Praise of Not Knowing

Wonderful short essay by Tim Kreider in the New York Times (Sunday, June 19, 2011; p.8) titled, "In Praise of Not Knowing."   He talks about the greater prevalence of mystery in our lives in the times before the Internet and the before the ease of Google.  In fact, there is some celebration and fun in being one of the few to know.  Or of being puzzled about something that we cannot know.  His great line is, "information that we can't find spurs the imagination."  I think curiosity and the ability to live with ambiguity are key traits for success.

Of course the big questions, like "Why did the Universe begin?" will always be a profound mystery.  So some questions always remain.  But I think vastness of knowledge can be a wonder to all too.  It's wonderful also on a small scale.  The complexity and depth of knowledge on a specific topic, like for me - the french horn, is wonderful.  As a horn player, I shall never master everything about the horn, nor will I know about or hear every piece ever written for the horn.  I am a traveller and learner -- but of only pieces and in a glass darkly.

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