Being Offensive vs. Being Offended – and Trust

When you offend someone, someone is offended. That seems obviously, trivially true. But the two are very different events – each touching on a part of the human experience, and each teaching us something about trust.

The Social and the Psychological

Disrespecting someone is a social violation: it is not a nice thing to do. It goes against the rules of etiquette and ethics (most of if not all ethical precepts have to do with our relationships to others). Every society has its rules about how to respect others, and to violate them is a serious matter.

To disrespect someone is a matter of one of two things – ignorance, or deliberate malice and rudeness. Both are matters of personal choice.

Being offensive and disrespectful, then, deals with the social side of being human.

Being disrespected or offended, on the other hand, is an intensely personal event. It is experienced one person at a time, as an interior phenomenon.

Being offended and disrespected, then, deals with the individual side of being human.

How do we integrate, as human beings, these two realms? Where are the ’shoulds’ in our social behavior, and in our individual behavior?

The answer is a little paradoxical: We should strive not to offend or disrespect others. At the same time, we should also strive to not feel offended, or disrespected, for long. In other words, we should strive to be kind socially, and to feel free psychologically.

We should respect others, yet not take personally others’ disrespect of ourselves.

The second is often the harder of the two. Here are a few contrasts to help make the point.

  • Religions teach us to be good to each other – the social message. Twelve Step programs remind us “pain is inevitable; suffering is optional” – the psychological message.
  • MLK fought for human rights – the social side. Viktor Frankl reminds us that “human freedom is not a freedom from but a freedom to” – the psychological side.

What’s Trust Got to Do With It?

Quite a bit, actually.

In contrast to almost all you read about ‘trust’ as some all-inclusive thing, keep in mind this simple fact, obvious to anyone on reflection:

Like tango, trust takes two. Trust is a relationship between a trustor and a trustee. The trustor initiates trust by taking a risk. The trustee then responds by being trustworthy. The roles then shift, and the players reciprocate. Rinse and repeat, etc. etc.

First, the trustee side: If you disrespect or offend others, then others will not trust you. You become untrustworthy. Disrespect and offensiveness affects the trustee.

Using the Trust Equation, you will have low Intimacy scores, because others will not confide in you. You will probably have high Self-orientation scores as well (a bad thing), because you’re likely acting out of willful anger or resentment, or willful ignorance – all of which are about you, not about the Other.

Being offended works the other side of the trust dynamic, that of the trustor: it renders you incapable of trusting others. You cannot initiate a trust relationship if you live in fear of being disrespected or offended.

Being chronically prone to offense means you are not free to act fully as a human. Rather than risk being hurt, you choose never to engage. You will never enjoy trust-as-relationship if you cannot trust-as-action. Victimhood destroys trust as much as  rudeness.

The Human Conundrum

And so the sociological and psychological, aka human, conundrum. You should never disrespect others. And you should never allow yourself to (remain) feeling disrespected.

You should always be trustworthy. And you should also never depend solely on the Other to initiate a relationship of trust.

May you not offend, nor be offended. And both are entirely your choice.

 

 

15 replies
  1. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Over the course of my 60 plus years, I have offended people unintentionally many times. Sometimes it was because I was ignorant, some times I wasn’t paying attention, sometimes they misunderstood me. On one occasion a female colleague made it absolutely clear to me that I had committed sexual harassment because I complemented her on a new hair style. Whenever I could I either apologized or clarified, but sometimes there was nothing I could do.

    We do not have a choice of whether we are ignorant or not. Even the best educated of us are more ignorant than knowledgeable – one could say that knowledge is finite and ignorance is infinite. Offending people due to ignorance is inevitable. The more complex and diverse a community, the more difficult it has to be to know all the possible nuances of potentially offensive behaviors.

    Sometimes offense is unavoidable. The most fair minded journalist writing about the occupied territories offend both Palestinians and Israelis. Anyone discussing the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Turkey during the first World war will offend Armenians if they don’t call it a genocide and will offend Turks if they do.

    College students at Middlebury college were so offended that Charles Murray was speaking at their school that they not only disrupted the event, they assaulted the professor who was interviewing him.

    Galileo was put under houses arrest for the last years of his life, because his conclusions about astronomy offended the Inquisition He was lucky not to be punished much more severely. Other scientists were burned at the stake.

    A few years back a women’s school in Saudi Arabia caught fire. The Religious Police were so offended that the fleeing women were not veiled that they beat them back into a burning building, where they perished.

    So, no, it is not close to being entirely our choice whether we offend people or not..

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Frank,

      First of all, thank you for your thoughtful and content-based reply. I always appreciate readers who engage with good content.

      I completely agree with you that perfect knowledge of what will offend others is impossible. We are talking about humans, after all, and all my prescriptions are intended to be directional, not absolute.

      But you draw a completely different inference from that. You are saying that, because we can’t know what offends others, that therefore “We do not have a choice of whether we are ignorant or not.”

      Not true. The choice you have is to be as educated as you can about the person you’re dealing with, recognizing that no education will ever suffice to achieve perfection. To give up is just a nihilistic reaction.

      Listen, I agree with all the examples you cite: whether students at Middlebury, or partisans in the great tribal conflicts of the Middle East, or the Saudi religious police. And you could have thrown in those aggrieved by micro-aggressions, couples who spar forever and complain about it to others, bad neighbors, etc.

      What I note from all of THEM is that they suffer from what I called an inability to trust – the failure of the interior, a tendency to obsess about identity politics, 800-year old offenses, micro-aggressions and the like.

      What YOU note from all of them is that you can’t trust them. Which to me says you too have been infected. Should you not talk to Turks and Armenians about their history? Should you not talk to Palestinians and Israelis about what divides them? Should Galileo not have written what he did? I say, of course you should, though of course you should also not be stupid about it (Socrates comes to mind).

      You seem to focus on the dangers of speaking the truth. In my article, I focused on the deleterious effects of advance self-censorship.

      Let’s agree: the world is full of untrustworthy, and untrusting, people. The question I’m raising is – what should one DO about it?

      My answer for how to deal with untrustworthy people is twofold: a) don’t be stupid, and b) don’t let it keep you from trusting other similar people in a different situation.

      My answer for how to deal with untrusting people is to take care it doesn’t make YOU an untrusting person.

      My piece has nothing to do with the objective level or number of trust-challenged people out there: on that I doubt we disagree.

      I was writing about how you and I should DEAL with those people in the real, imperfect world we live in.

      So I go back to my original statement: it IS INDEED our choice to offend or not, by doing the best we can to gain knowledge about who we’re dealing with, taking care to recognize and appreciate their situations from a place of empathy – all the while recognizing we have neither omniscience about nor omnipotence over those others. They are, after all, free agents on the planet.

      And more importantly, it IS INDEED our choice to be offended or not. You can still be attacked, as Viktor Frankl so eloquently wrote: but you do not have to surrender your dignity by continuing to feel attacked. That, as he pointed out, is a choice.

      Reply
  2. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Charlie I agree with much of your reply, and with most of your original post. I absolutely agree that we have a responsibility for our own reactions to offense. And if I am dealing with another individual in any kind of ongoing relationship, whether socially or professionally, I agree I have an obligation to treat them as they wish to be treated, and therefore to learn how they wish to be treated.

    But we live in a world where we often meet people with different standards of etiquette, and we can’t possibly know what all of those standards are. Here is a modest example. I have offended women by holding doors for them, which I had been taught was polite behavior. Subsequently, I offended other women because I did not hold doors for them. How can I possibly learn whether a woman I have never met belongs to the camp that believes holding doors is a male obligation, or the smaller, but vociferous camp that regards having a door held open for them demeaning?

    You said “What YOU note from all of them is that you can’t trust them. Which to me says you too have been infected. Should you not talk to Turks and Armenians about their history? Should you not talk to Palestinians and Israelis about what divides them? Should Galileo not have written what he did? I say, of course you should, though of course you should also not be stupid about it (Socrates comes to mind).” And that is a misreading, because I believe we should talk to Turks and Armenians, Israelis and Palestinians, but with the acceptance of the fact that some will be offended. .Whether I trust them or not is irrelevant. In fact, the way I read your original piece, it implies that if I fear I will offend somebody I should not, even if that means I can’t tell the truth.

    But I cannot meet my responsibility as an ethical human being with social and professional obligations without periodically, accidentally offending someone, or many people. I absolutely believe Galileo was right to publish his science, and I am sure he did so knowing it was dangerous. The trustworthy journalist knows he is going to offend people. If I follow your advice and take the responsibility to tell a client an unpleasant truth, I am trusting that client, but you also taking the risk of offending.

    So I don’t think that trust and inoffensiveness are comfortable bedfellows. I have concluded in the course of writing this that being trustworthy requires me to risk offending.

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Thanks Frank, for the come-back. Here are some things we totally agree on:

      “…being trustworthy requires me to risk offending.” Yup, I totally buy that.

      “I cannot meet my responsibility as an ethical human being with social and professional obligations without periodically, accidentally offending someone, or many people.” Yup, agree again.

      “we can’t possibly know what all of those standards are.” No argument here.

      “If I…take the responsibility to tell a client an unpleasant truth, I am trusting that client, but you also taking the risk of offending.” Again, we’re in agreement.

      With so much in agreement, let me try this restatement and see if it clicks with you too:

      As I said, we should all strive to be trustworthy and to trust. But I don’t claim that is the highest Good of all. There are other things, like integrity, or Truth-telling, and occasionally those can come in conflict with trust. Your Galileo example is a good one; there are also all kinds of ethical thought-experiments with Hitler that can tease apart those objectives.

      What if I said we all ought to strive to be trusted WHEN IT IS DESIRABLE TO BE SO, and to trust others WHEN IT IS DESIRABLE (AND NOT STUPID) TO DO SO. Desirability includes issues like consonance of ethical viewpoints, various ends/means dilemmas, and so forth.

      Your points remind me of a deliberately outrageous statement made by Herman Kahn, former head of the Hudson Institute. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with killing a million people; what’s WRONG is killing them without thinking.” His meaning, I think, was that the absence of thoughtfulness makes any act far morally worse than it is per se, .

      The parallel here is that when deciding whether it is appropriate to trust or be trusted, we should not allow ourselves to be swayed by a lack of thoughtfulness: if we decide to risk giving offense, we should do so thoughtfully and consciously, educating ourselves before hand, so that the results are as fully responsible as possible, and not due to neglect on our part. Ditto for trusting: we should not be stupid, but we should also be rigorous in assessing real risks rather than withdrawing thoughtlessly from interaction.

      Does that sound any better?

      Thanks again for pushing my own thinking on this point, I do appreciate it.

      Reply
  3. Franklin Piuck
    Franklin Piuck says:

    Charlie, that is much better.

    I have a few additional thoughts for your consideration. The first is that what you describe is a standard we should aspire too, but which us fallible humans will only achieve intermittently, if only because there are circumstances where there is no time for careful thought. I think your formulation should acknowledge this.

    Secondly, you often distinguish between trustworthiness and being trusting. Most of us would say that being trustworthy is a virtue and untrustworthy a vice and human beings fall on a spectrum between these two poles . On the other hand trusting doesn’t fit a spectrum of virtue to vice. Sometimes it is brave and sometimes it is foolish. We agree that not offending is a virtue, but the word inoffensive is almost always used as a criticism, implying timidity. So not offending can be a virtue or a vice in the same way that trusting can be.

    Third is something I took issue with in your first response, which was to describe my critique of your post as indicating I was “Infected” by distrust. I think your second reply indicates you have rethought that, but I am curious why you saw it that way.

    finally, I have clicked the “Notify me of follow up comments by email” button for both previous comments, and did not recieve an email for either of your replies. You may want to look into that.

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Frank,

      Apologies for the slow response, and thank you for pushing the thinking on this topic.

      “…what you describe is a standard we should aspire too, but which us fallible humans will only achieve intermittently.” I love that. Totally agree. Thanks for the articulation.

      What I’m taking away from your comments is that I sort of tried to force two distinctions onto each other: the distinction between trusting and being trusted, and the distinction between being offensive and being offended. To my mind, you are pointing out that there is a limit to the one-to-one mapping of those two distinctions.

      (By the way, I also completely agree about describing trustworthiness as a virtue – I’ve written about precisely that – but that trusting or not trusting is qualitatively different; it doesn’t fit on a continuum of virtue-ness. I often call it an issue of courage; you correctly point out that courage without careful consideration is mere foolishness.)

      Regarding my “infection” comment, I’d like to apologize. It unnecessarily personalized a more banal observation, which was simply about the extent to which you initially focused on examples of giving offense. I should have stated that more clearly – sorry about that.

      I will look into the ‘notify of follow-up link,’ thanks for flagging that.

      Reply
  4. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Charlie,

    I have one more idea from our dialogue to expand on and that is ignorance. I am the child of a doctor and an engineer. I have a bachelors degree and a masters degree. I read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and a lot of blogs like yours. So I can fairly claim to be well educated, and I continue to educate myself. Yet compared to the every increasing store of human knowledge, I only know a tiny fraction. That store is increasing, and increasing faster than I can keep up. So in one sense, my ignorance is increasing faster than my knowledge. And this is only in the realm of “book-learning.” The number of people on this earth that I don’t know is increasing, and therefore the number of people I risk offending is increasing.

    The cosmologists say that the universe is infinitely large, with an infinite number of galaxies, which only have a finite number of stars, and some finite, unknown number of planets each. That implies an infinite number of stars and plents. So there is an infinite number of things I know nothing about. Even if the scientists are wrong, and the universe is finite, it is so huge it is of no practical consequence to me. And then there is that other realm, which Donald Rumsfeld called the unknown unknown. So that is what I had in mind when I said ignorance is infinite. It is not a cop out, but a humbling reality.

    Reply
  5. Franklin Piuck
    Franklin Piuck says:

    Charlie, that is much better.

    I have a few additional thoughts for your consideration. The first is that what you describe is a standard we should aspire too, but which us fallible humans will only achieve intermittently, if only because there are circumstances where there is no time for careful thought. I think your formulation should acknowledge this.

    Secondly, you often distinguish between trustworthiness and being trusting. Most of us would say that being trustworthy is a virtue and untrustworthy a vice and human beings fall on a spectrum between these two poles . On the other hand trusting doesn’t fit a spectrum of virtue to vice. Sometimes it is brave and sometimes it is foolish. We agree that not offending is a virtue, but the word inoffensive is almost always used as a criticism, implying timidity. So not offending can be a virtue or a vice in the same way that trusting can be.

    Third is something I took issue with in your first response, which was to describe my critique of your post as indicating I was “Infected” by distrust. I think your second reply indicates you have rethought that, but I am curious why you saw it that way.

    finally, I have clicked the “Notify me of follow up comments by email” button for both previous comments, and did not recieve an email for either of your replies. You may want to look into that.

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Frank,

      Apologies for the slow response, and thank you for pushing the thinking on this topic.

      “…what you describe is a standard we should aspire too, but which us fallible humans will only achieve intermittently.” I love that. Totally agree. Thanks for the articulation.

      What I’m taking away from your comments is that I sort of tried to force two distinctions onto each other: the distinction between trusting and being trusted, and the distinction between being offensive and being offended. To my mind, you are pointing out that there is a limit to the one-to-one mapping of those two distinctions.

      (By the way, I also completely agree about describing trustworthiness as a virtue – I’ve written about precisely that – but that trusting or not trusting is qualitatively different; it doesn’t fit on a continuum of virtue-ness. I often call it an issue of courage; you correctly point out that courage without careful consideration is mere foolishness.)

      Regarding my “infection” comment, I’d like to apologize. It unnecessarily personalized a more banal observation, which was simply about the extent to which you initially focused on examples of giving offense. I should have stated that more clearly – sorry about that.

      I will look into the ‘notify of follow-up link,’ thanks for flagging that.

      Reply
  6. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Charlie I agree with much of your reply, and with most of your original post. I absolutely agree that we have a responsibility for our own reactions to offense. And if I am dealing with another individual in any kind of ongoing relationship, whether socially or professionally, I agree I have an obligation to treat them as they wish to be treated, and therefore to learn how they wish to be treated.

    But we live in a world where we often meet people with different standards of etiquette, and we can’t possibly know what all of those standards are. Here is a modest example. I have offended women by holding doors for them, which I had been taught was polite behavior. Subsequently, I offended other women because I did not hold doors for them. How can I possibly learn whether a woman I have never met belongs to the camp that believes holding doors is a male obligation, or the smaller, but vociferous camp that regards having a door held open for them demeaning?

    You said “What YOU note from all of them is that you can’t trust them. Which to me says you too have been infected. Should you not talk to Turks and Armenians about their history? Should you not talk to Palestinians and Israelis about what divides them? Should Galileo not have written what he did? I say, of course you should, though of course you should also not be stupid about it (Socrates comes to mind).” And that is a misreading, because I believe we should talk to Turks and Armenians, Israelis and Palestinians, but with the acceptance of the fact that some will be offended. .Whether I trust them or not is irrelevant. In fact, the way I read your original piece, it implies that if I fear I will offend somebody I should not, even if that means I can’t tell the truth.

    But I cannot meet my responsibility as an ethical human being with social and professional obligations without periodically, accidentally offending someone, or many people. I absolutely believe Galileo was right to publish his science, and I am sure he did so knowing it was dangerous. The trustworthy journalist knows he is going to offend people. If I follow your advice and take the responsibility to tell a client an unpleasant truth, I am trusting that client, but you also taking the risk of offending.

    So I don’t think that trust and inoffensiveness are comfortable bedfellows. I have concluded in the course of writing this that being trustworthy requires me to risk offending.

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Thanks Frank, for the come-back. Here are some things we totally agree on:

      “…being trustworthy requires me to risk offending.” Yup, I totally buy that.

      “I cannot meet my responsibility as an ethical human being with social and professional obligations without periodically, accidentally offending someone, or many people.” Yup, agree again.

      “we can’t possibly know what all of those standards are.” No argument here.

      “If I…take the responsibility to tell a client an unpleasant truth, I am trusting that client, but you also taking the risk of offending.” Again, we’re in agreement.

      With so much in agreement, let me try this restatement and see if it clicks with you too:

      As I said, we should all strive to be trustworthy and to trust. But I don’t claim that is the highest Good of all. There are other things, like integrity, or Truth-telling, and occasionally those can come in conflict with trust. Your Galileo example is a good one; there are also all kinds of ethical thought-experiments with Hitler that can tease apart those objectives.

      What if I said we all ought to strive to be trusted WHEN IT IS DESIRABLE TO BE SO, and to trust others WHEN IT IS DESIRABLE (AND NOT STUPID) TO DO SO. Desirability includes issues like consonance of ethical viewpoints, various ends/means dilemmas, and so forth.

      Your points remind me of a deliberately outrageous statement made by Herman Kahn, former head of the Hudson Institute. He said, “There’s nothing wrong with killing a million people; what’s WRONG is killing them without thinking.” His meaning, I think, was that the absence of thoughtfulness makes any act far morally worse than it is per se, .

      The parallel here is that when deciding whether it is appropriate to trust or be trusted, we should not allow ourselves to be swayed by a lack of thoughtfulness: if we decide to risk giving offense, we should do so thoughtfully and consciously, educating ourselves before hand, so that the results are as fully responsible as possible, and not due to neglect on our part. Ditto for trusting: we should not be stupid, but we should also be rigorous in assessing real risks rather than withdrawing thoughtlessly from interaction.

      Does that sound any better?

      Thanks again for pushing my own thinking on this point, I do appreciate it.

      Reply
  7. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Over the course of my 60 plus years, I have offended people unintentionally many times. Sometimes it was because I was ignorant, some times I wasn’t paying attention, sometimes they misunderstood me. On one occasion a female colleague made it absolutely clear to me that I had committed sexual harassment because I complemented her on a new hair style. Whenever I could I either apologized or clarified, but sometimes there was nothing I could do.

    We do not have a choice of whether we are ignorant or not. Even the best educated of us are more ignorant than knowledgeable – one could say that knowledge is finite and ignorance is infinite. Offending people due to ignorance is inevitable. The more complex and diverse a community, the more difficult it has to be to know all the possible nuances of potentially offensive behaviors.

    Sometimes offense is unavoidable. The most fair minded journalist writing about the occupied territories offend both Palestinians and Israelis. Anyone discussing the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in Turkey during the first World war will offend Armenians if they don’t call it a genocide and will offend Turks if they do.

    College students at Middlebury college were so offended that Charles Murray was speaking at their school that they not only disrupted the event, they assaulted the professor who was interviewing him.

    Galileo was put under houses arrest for the last years of his life, because his conclusions about astronomy offended the Inquisition He was lucky not to be punished much more severely. Other scientists were burned at the stake.

    A few years back a women’s school in Saudi Arabia caught fire. The Religious Police were so offended that the fleeing women were not veiled that they beat them back into a burning building, where they perished.

    So, no, it is not close to being entirely our choice whether we offend people or not..

    Reply
    • Charles H Green
      Charles H Green says:

      Frank,

      First of all, thank you for your thoughtful and content-based reply. I always appreciate readers who engage with good content.

      I completely agree with you that perfect knowledge of what will offend others is impossible. We are talking about humans, after all, and all my prescriptions are intended to be directional, not absolute.

      But you draw a completely different inference from that. You are saying that, because we can’t know what offends others, that therefore “We do not have a choice of whether we are ignorant or not.”

      Not true. The choice you have is to be as educated as you can about the person you’re dealing with, recognizing that no education will ever suffice to achieve perfection. To give up is just a nihilistic reaction.

      Listen, I agree with all the examples you cite: whether students at Middlebury, or partisans in the great tribal conflicts of the Middle East, or the Saudi religious police. And you could have thrown in those aggrieved by micro-aggressions, couples who spar forever and complain about it to others, bad neighbors, etc.

      What I note from all of THEM is that they suffer from what I called an inability to trust – the failure of the interior, a tendency to obsess about identity politics, 800-year old offenses, micro-aggressions and the like.

      What YOU note from all of them is that you can’t trust them. Which to me says you too have been infected. Should you not talk to Turks and Armenians about their history? Should you not talk to Palestinians and Israelis about what divides them? Should Galileo not have written what he did? I say, of course you should, though of course you should also not be stupid about it (Socrates comes to mind).

      You seem to focus on the dangers of speaking the truth. In my article, I focused on the deleterious effects of advance self-censorship.

      Let’s agree: the world is full of untrustworthy, and untrusting, people. The question I’m raising is – what should one DO about it?

      My answer for how to deal with untrustworthy people is twofold: a) don’t be stupid, and b) don’t let it keep you from trusting other similar people in a different situation.

      My answer for how to deal with untrusting people is to take care it doesn’t make YOU an untrusting person.

      My piece has nothing to do with the objective level or number of trust-challenged people out there: on that I doubt we disagree.

      I was writing about how you and I should DEAL with those people in the real, imperfect world we live in.

      So I go back to my original statement: it IS INDEED our choice to offend or not, by doing the best we can to gain knowledge about who we’re dealing with, taking care to recognize and appreciate their situations from a place of empathy – all the while recognizing we have neither omniscience about nor omnipotence over those others. They are, after all, free agents on the planet.

      And more importantly, it IS INDEED our choice to be offended or not. You can still be attacked, as Viktor Frankl so eloquently wrote: but you do not have to surrender your dignity by continuing to feel attacked. That, as he pointed out, is a choice.

      Reply
  8. Frank Piuck
    Frank Piuck says:

    Charlie,

    I have one more idea from our dialogue to expand on and that is ignorance. I am the child of a doctor and an engineer. I have a bachelors degree and a masters degree. I read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and a lot of blogs like yours. So I can fairly claim to be well educated, and I continue to educate myself. Yet compared to the every increasing store of human knowledge, I only know a tiny fraction. That store is increasing, and increasing faster than I can keep up. So in one sense, my ignorance is increasing faster than my knowledge. And this is only in the realm of “book-learning.” The number of people on this earth that I don’t know is increasing, and therefore the number of people I risk offending is increasing.

    The cosmologists say that the universe is infinitely large, with an infinite number of galaxies, which only have a finite number of stars, and some finite, unknown number of planets each. That implies an infinite number of stars and plents. So there is an infinite number of things I know nothing about. Even if the scientists are wrong, and the universe is finite, it is so huge it is of no practical consequence to me. And then there is that other realm, which Donald Rumsfeld called the unknown unknown. So that is what I had in mind when I said ignorance is infinite. It is not a cop out, but a humbling reality.

    Reply

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