Is it a good thing or a bad thing when you don't have all of the answers?

No real subject to dolt on just a thought is it a good thing or a bad thing when you don’t have all of the answers.

As far as Johnny is concerned, in his constant asking questions, we have the internet search engines, right?

For everything else we have SD … :slight_smile:

It’s a *great *thing - it means we get to do research!

It’s a good thing, IME, because every single time I think I know what’s what it turns out I’m missing something.
And if someone is relying on me to have all the answers I will eventually let them down. No way do I need that on my head.

Well, if it’s your job to know your job then you should have some, most, many of the answers. But you should also be able to convey that you don’t have ALL the answers, but you know how to get them.

It’s a delicate balance sometimes in my job as a system consultant. I work with a package application, and naturally as I gain experience in one particular module I become more and more expert in that module. But on occasion (read as “often”), I am sold to a client as an expert on a module that I don’t have first hand experience on. In these cases I rely on the fact that the client knows less than I do, that I know most of the rest of the product so I have a good foundation, and it is my duty to self-study to become expert “just in time” to work through the product module with the client.

The risk is that every once in a while I get stuck in what I call the “what abouts”. Certain clients ask a thousand “what about” questions, and you can only say, “Well, I will have to research that…” so many times before they start to realize I’m a wee bit of a fraud.

So, it’s a good thing when you don’t have all the answers, as long as your job doesn’t expect you to have all the answers.

That’s a good question, but I’m sorry, I just don’t have an answer.

No one knows all the answers, but some people know how to ask questions. Others, not so much.

I don’t know, I’ve never had all the answers. When I do, I’ll let you know.

Its a very, very bad thing when you start thinking you know all the answers. People who think that just have very restrictive models that are inaccurate.

Life and reality are far too complex for the biological human mind to understand as a whole. The best we can do is piece things together here and there, and share that information via communications, culture and writing.

If you truly have all the answers, then great, but if one does not have all the answers (re: all of us) but thinks one does, then that is a path to Dunning-Kruger-dom.

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” – Probably not Mark Twain

A saying that pops up throughout antiquity goes along the lines of “a wise man knows what he doesn’t know” and the world would be a better place if more people took note of that.

“I don’t know.” is far superior to some made up BS answer … and “I don’t know but I’ll find out.” is even better.

I do mathematics research and if I knew all the answers I would have nothing to do in life.

Isaac Asimov said somewhere that the most important moment in science is when someone says, “That’s funny”.

Nobody ever has all the answers. If you ever start to believe you do, take a step back to reset your viewpoint.

“The wise man knows he knows nothing.”

I love that saying.

As long as we’re quoting, let’s not forget

Wisdom is accumulated knowledge, but even the wisest man (or woman) doesn’t know everything
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” This quotation is from Miles Kington (1941-2008). He was a British journalist, humorist, musician, and broadcaster.


One based on that theme that I like: “Knowledge is knowing that Frankenstein is not The Monster. Wisdom is knowing that Frankenstein is the monster.”

All the answers to what?

It’s possible to know all the answers to the wrong questions.

Do you know all the questions?