Selective Ignorance

Do you ever avoid reading a book because you don’t want it to pollute your thinking? Have a new idea and don’t want to read the “best in the industry” perspective, but want to read the basics to nurture your own seedling of an opinion without it getting obscured by better polished and refined thinkers?

I’ve been learning about climate change for the past year. There are already so many “big” opinions and “big” writers on climate change. Everyone “knows” what climate change is, how could I possibly have something different to say? There are times when I wonder if reading everything that’s out there is really the best path. My brain is soft and I risk parroting others ideas and squelching my own voice. So I try to stick to the basics. My friend Dan Walsh suggests reading tangential books instead. For example, if you’re interested in carbon markets, read a book about hedge funds and Wall Street, but NOT the book by an expert in carbon markets or the book with “Carbon Markets” in the title.

You can always go back and read those “expert” books any time. Give yourself space to form your own idea initially. Do you have books you avoid reading because of “selective ignorance”?

“selective ignorance” coined by Dan Walsh of Super Spark Media

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Tito Jankowski lives in San Francisco. He's a public speaker, biotech hacker, and post-hydrocarbon expert. He is the co-founder of Impossible Labs, expediting the post-hydrocarbon economy through partnerships between startups and Fortune 500 corporations. Find him on LinkedIn. Email Tito at blog@titojankowski.comPublic PGP key. PGP Fingerprint: 5A4F 4C5C E8B7 20C3 2867 9100 C56C 881F 13AE 02D7 EFF Guide to PGP Security

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