Intellectual Humility

When my wife sent me this article from Neuroscience News, I immediately loved the title.

Humility is a rare commodity these days — or at least open, public humility. So much of the so-called “conversation” we hear and read these days is 90% posturin, denial, and deflection as opposed to listening and learning. Vulnerability is suicide in today’s sound-byte culture in which we look for the worst in others so that we can amplify it, while at the same time shrug off the worst in ourselves as anomaly.

You should have a high bar for what evidence you require to change your mind.

When I read this in the article, I bristled a little. I immediately recalled something I heard or read once that showed that, while naturally have a high bar for changing our mind, we actually have a rather ridiculously low threshold for forming those opinions in the first place.

Believing this is probably why I have become inherently averse to forming strong opinions, at least for long. I’m a consummate “fence-sitter,” looking to both sides for as long as possible before having to come down and make a decision on something, and then remaining willing to jump back up there frequently.

I get a lot of flack about my fence-sitting from people who know me. I joke that “you can see so much better from up here.”

Great article. Worth a read.