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What is uncertainty? Could it be “there are more things that could happen than actually happen”?

Meaning uncertainty relates only to the future, which feels right to me.

We need to pay some attention to the future; looking where we are driving is a decent strategy.

But try as we might, we can’t see much further than fifty yards (about two seconds?) with any clarity – uncertainty creeps in beyond that.

Tacitly acknowledging that I do not and cannot know what comes next makes sense, it’s reassuring too. Being agnostic is a comfortable position.

What we see is not all that exists and therefore all forecasts, models and the like must be flawed. If they don’t and can’t account for things we can’t see (but may happen), what value are they?

Regrettably, this doesn’t stop the demand for forecasts, models and the like. These inherently-flawed offerings are promoted as providing some certainty, and very important decisions are taken using them.

The argument that “it’s the best we can do” is a thin one. We could stick with the forecasts and models and simply add a healthy dose of agnosticism.

Unfortunately if your position is “we don’t really know”, you’re unlikely to get into many decision-making rooms.

Our electoral system is set up to favour alpha males and females. It’s little surprise we then get alpha behaviour – overconfident “certainty” mongers who lack humility and shout down anyone who disagrees with them.

The consequence of which is a lot of wasted effort and resource. Agnosticism could save us from this.

I’ll be sure to keep up the agnosticism, I’ve no doubt it’s a good thing for TCFP and our clients too. Maybe one day it will go viral!

Agnosticism feels good to me. It is healthy to question what we think we know for sure.

Agnosticism’s cousins – scepticism and cynicism – hold little appeal. Being inclined to question all accepted opinions sounds boring. And believing people are motivated only by self-interest repulses me.

The simple truth –  whether we are alphas, agnostics, sceptics or cynics – is that we are all doing the best we can with the thinking we’ve got.

The less we have, the better we could do?


Boring But Effective | Truthful, Helpful, Kind 

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