AIF Blog

The Advantages of NOT Knowing Everything

Jan 16, 2018
CATEGORY: Arts, Society

Pete Dominick and Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief, speak to an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

New York Times best-selling author Susan Orlean says ignorance about a subject is a powerful ignitor of curiosity. As someone who has written about bullfighters, orchid fanatics, and an African king who drives a taxi in New York City, she knows a thing or two about delving into far-flung topics. How can we learn to take in the world as an enthusiast and as a curious person? It’s especially important for writers, she says, but it’s more a state of mind than a professional tool. And in this heightened state of other, approaching people unlike ourselves with curiosity rather than judgement could serve us well in getting along and finding commonalities. Orlean joins radio host and “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” veteran Pete Dominick for a lively conversation.

 

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