Why Is It So Hard to Give Up Ignorance?

Posted on August 23, 2009 by


2008-09-23-445howtoThere are certain fields that I love — church history, psychology, game design, etc. — but refuse to study in depth.

The problem is, I have my own opinions and beliefs in each of those fields. I’m afraid that if I start studying, I’ll discover (a) how wrong I am, and (b) how much I’d have to learn in order to become competent in that field.

When I started programming, I would use only the most basic tools. I stayed with those tools for several years, refusing to learn the more advanced programming techniques. I told myself that I was working more efficiently that way, sticking with what I knew, but the real reason was pride. Learning to use the advanced tools would mean acknowledging that I could have been doing better work all those years.

The same thing happens with education. After having spent time in the workforce, it’s hard to go back to school, because it means admitting, “Yes, I could have had a better job all these years.” It’s easier just to say, “I love my job.”

So why is it so hard to give up ignorance? Pride, motivation, peer pressure… What’s the solution? If I were actually willing to put the effort into learning about psychology instead of just philosophizing here on this blog, I might know the answer.

Posted in: Musings