As we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t even know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country, and other free countries, it is the latter category – the unknown unknowns – that tend to be the difficult ones.
One example, and probably the most pressing, is the nuclear debate. At the crux of this issue in the public discussion are the unknowns; the known unknowns, such as what to do with the ever-mounting radioactive waste produced by the world’s nuclear energy and arms industries, which can neither be destroyed nor disposed of; but more importantly, unknown unknowns, such as the nuclear industry’s culture of secrecy. Still tight-lipped about the ongoing disaster at Fukushima, and the impending disaster in Miami, the industry continues to show its unwillingness to admit, much less manage, the real dangers inherent in nuclear experimentation.
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