The Logic of Strategic Ignorance

Ignorance and knowledge are often thought of as opposite phenomena. Knowledge is seen as a source of power, and ignorance as a barrier to consolidating authority in political and corporate arenas. This article disputes this, exploring the ways that ignorance serves as a productive asset, helping individuals and institutions to command resources, deny liability in the aftermath of crises, and to assert expertise in the face of unpredictable outcomes.

Oh my. This rings true.

The case studies are with drug side effects and the FDA. But it’s easy to see other places, some quite close to home, that this played out.


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