After attending my older son's track meet under grey skies, the two of us were talking about newspapers. He has a current events class in high school and wondered how I rated our local newspaper since there wasn't much national or international news in it. I said I thought it did what it did pretty well: Fewer and fewer newspapers are willing to report the kind of news that would really inform or help anyone, but knowing what's going on superficially in town and nearby is probably worth something.
My son's question made me think that an educated and maybe wise person is the one who is in some way aware of the things s/he doesn't know. Unfortunately, for my money, too many educated people are aware only of the pleasures to be found in what they do know.
I once asked the science-fiction, science-fact writer Isaac Asimov what he thought the greatest single scientific unknown was. It took him less than the blink of an eye to respond, "the mind."
Honesty and a little humility are better tools than self-importance and position. Honesty and a little humility may not make as much money or excite as much applause, but they work better in the long run....
Today I am off to the hospital to have my gall bladder taken out. With luck, it will be a day trip in which I go in in about an hour and come home at noon or shortly thereafter. I think I will ask the doctor to tell me one thing he likes. I don't know him very well and knowing just one small thing someone likes -- Oreo cookies, family, genuflection from the great unwashed, bike riding, hockey, a polished car, detective novels, hiking, poker, keeping secrets, etc. -- creates, if not trust, at least humanity. Of course if he were to comply, there would be endless things I would still not know, but it would be pleasant to know something.
Not reliable, but pleasant.