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On Ignorance...


The wise know they are ignorant and the ignorant believe themselves wise in blocking and bullying creative ideas out of the ring. Ignorance can also be a handy thing when it is the bliss that prevents you from pausing for thought when picking up the gems that others have overlooked.

See also

being uncreative, children, foolishness*, knowledge*, letting go, luck


‘Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of inert facts.’

Henry Brooks Adams

‘True wisdom is less presuming than folly. The wise man doubts often, and changes his mind; the fool is obstinate, and doubts not; he knows all things but his own ignorance.’


‘It is better to know nothing than to know what ain’t so.’

Josh Billings

‘The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.’

Daniel J. Boorstin

‘I am not ashamed to confess that I am ignorant of what I do not know.’

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Education is a progressive discovery of ignorance.’

William Durant

‘We do not know one millionth of one percent about anything.’

Thomas Alva Edison

‘A keen observer once said of Einstein that part of his genius was his inability to understand the obvious.’

Henry Eyring

‘Maybe that is why young people make success. They don’t know enough.’

Richard P. Feynman

‘Nothing is worse than active ignorance.’

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

‘I’m looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.’

Henry Ford

‘Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes what is wrong.’

Thomas Jefferson

‘Prejudice is the child of ignorance.’

William Hazlitt

‘And some men are as ignorant of what they do when awake as they are forgetful of what they do when asleep.’


‘Dogs, also, bark at what they do not know.’


Art hath an enemy called ignorance.’

Samuel Johnson

‘The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds.’

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

‘A man must have a certain amount of intelligent ignorance to get anywhere.’

Charles F. Kettering

‘Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.’

Doug Larson

‘We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.’

Titus Livius

‘Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.’

Michel de Montaigne

‘Ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.’

William Shakespeare

‘The trouble with most of us is that we know too much that ain’t so.’

Mark Twain

‘To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.’

Lao Tzu

‘He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.’

Lao Tzu



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