New Albany’s elected officials continue to ignore Jeff Bezos’s and Bertrand Russell’s sage advice.


While I don’t give a tinker’s damn about Jeff Bezos, this 2012 rumination, forwarded to me by B., strikes me as valuable if not earth-shattering. Another, more succinct variation comes from Bertrand Russell, circa 1950.

The fundamental cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt.

Think City Hall, and read.

Some advice from Jeff Bezos, by Jason Fried (Signal v. Noise)

He said people who were right a lot of the time were people who often changed their minds. He doesn’t think consistency of thought is a particularly positive trait. It’s perfectly healthy — encouraged, even — to have an idea tomorrow that contradicted your idea today.

He’s observed that the smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved. They’re open to new points of view, new information, new ideas, contradictions, and challenges to their own way of thinking.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a well formed point of view, but it means you should consider your point of view as temporary.

What trait signified someone who was wrong a lot of the time? Someone obsessed with details that only support one point of view. If someone can’t climb out of the details, and see the bigger picture from multiple angles, they’re often wrong most of the time.