A gem of an advice about ignorance from
"Clever questions can seal away your ignorance as securely as specialist training. If you ask questions to prove how well you understand the other person, you're thinking about that proof… and not about what she is saying. Stay in touch with your ignorance, do not hide it. Ask about what you truly do not understand, however dumb you fear the question sounds. Honesty brings faster understanding, and greater respect. You cannot fool a subject specialist that you understand, when you don't. The specialist can clear up puzzlements for you if, and only if, you ask. (A good one can hear in your questions what you need to know, and build an answer to fit what honest questions have revealed about your understanding. Mediocre experts, insecure, will make answers hard, to prove their own cleverness in grasping this hard stuff. Avoid such people, and hope they soon move from research to a job where they can be useful.) " http://geometeer.com/geometeerignorance.html
Context: I wrote this article in the mid-1990s, while Chief Scientist at the Centre for Information-Enhanced Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS), for the annual student journal of the Pharmacology Department — hence the pharm-specific intro. Someone asked me to make it more ...
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