A Burning Itch to Know is Higher Than a Solemn Vow to Pursue Truth

I met Elie Yudkowsky from the Singularity Institute a couple weeks ago in New Orleans. Talk about a deep thinker.

One of the essays on his website is titled The Twelve Virtues of Rationality. I loved numero uno:

The first virtue is curiosity. A burning itch to know is higher than a solemn vow to pursue truth. To feel the burning itch of curiosity requires both that you be ignorant, and that you desire to relinquish your ignorance. If in your heart you believe you already know, or if in your heart you do not wish to know, then your questioning will be purposeless and your skills without direction. Curiosity seeks to annihilate itself; there is no curiosity that does not want an answer. The glory of glorious mystery is to be solved, after which it ceases to be mystery. Be wary of those who speak of being open-minded and modestly confess their ignorance. There is a time to confess your ignorance and a time to relinquish your ignorance.

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