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Things you don’t know that you don’t know

I had an interesting chat with one of my German friends (who also happens to belong to the group I mentioned in Chapter 3: “What is the Primary Goal of Social Business?“). I was telling him about a story I was working on at the moment (“The lowdown on the current state in the Amanda Knox story” [ ]), and he asked me “Do you know about Daniele Ganser?” I replied no, I don’t. He explained a little bit, so I decided to check out the dude.

Well, well, well: Even though this guy is apparently a noob (and a “YouTuber” … and also doesn’t know very much about media, in my humble opinion), he does have some somewhat interesting points and seems to be willing to go out on a limb and state them directly. So I am willing to give him a tip of the hat (see “Was mich dann sehr irritiert hat, ist dass über den Einsturz von diesem Gebäude gesprochen wurde auf BBC in den 5 Uhr Nachrichten, aber es ist erst um 20 nach 5 eingestürzt” [ ]). Mind you, when Mr. Ganser says stuff like “already Goebbels explained that” (note: the German “schon” cannot be easily translated into English), I was thinking along the lines of “dude, why don’t you say ‘already Gustav Lebon wrote (and published) about that’ — already … like, in 1895?” Likewise, he apparently isn’t exactly up-to-date with stuff Esther Dyson wrote decades ago — like how the cost of copying media is nil … and what the implications of that reality are for the world we live in today. He also seems to have missed much of Susan Sontag’s work (e.g. “Regarding the Pain of Others”).

He probably doesn’t know that he doesn’t know stuff like this — although, to his credit: in the talk I reference above, he clearly states that neither he nor anyone else can know everything. One of my favorite Jimi Hendrix lines is “I want to hear and see everything” (note that this also doesn’t state that Jimi Hendrix actually sees and hears everything, but rather that he wants to)… and I would add that we probably all innately want to, simply because that seems (to me) to be due to the way human brains have evolved over time.

That famous quote about the “things we don’t know that we don’t know” — does it matter who said it first? Does it matter whether it is attributed to Donald Rumsfeld or to Socrates? Would it be any more or less valid if it were attributed to one or the other? Or can we just try to understand the words? (by the way: ardent Sting fans might now think: “why didn’t he mention ‘Nothing about me’?”)

Yes: By and large, most people will know very little about me. The vast majority of the global population are probably not even aware whether I even exist at all. And I also quite often feel that I don’t matter at all — at times, I have joked to my kids that I sometimes feel as though I am made out of dinosaur remains. What will I be next? Who knows?

Yet (to get back to “Social Business”) to ignore each other’s existence seems to be a recipe for failure. Ignorance of other things hardly makes those other things irrelevant. On the contrary: the act of ignoring will probably make the ignorant whatever irrelevant.


By New Media Works

I'm just a regular person ;) If you want to know more, pls send me a msg -- thanks! :D

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