Manifesto: Keep Wonder Alive, Join me and make the #idontknow Commitment

In the next 10 years through to 2024, 1 Billion jobs will be taken over by machines. Google cars will replace taxis. IBM’s Watson will replace customer service staff. We cannot out-reason the machines.

We must change the way we teach, the way we parent and the role of “I don’t know” in our society.

I ask for your help. I will ask for your commitment not to say “I know”, when you don’t. I will ask you to use “I don’t know” more. Let’s let our connected intuition have the space it needs to work as it was originally designed.

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Manifesto: Keep Wonder Alive by Conor Neill is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  • What are your reflections on the content of the manifesto? What struck you as memorable? What do you agree with? What do you doubt?

  • I used to hate open ended answers, but I’m slowly finding the beauty of acceptance and thankfulness.

    What I really like about this is that instead of making somebody feel dumb, it empowers the questioner and opens the door to engage intelligently even with children. I’ve just started being more honest about what I (think I) know and what I would only be guessing about. The hard part is the humility, especially in an argument.

    Most memorable Joseph Campbell’s quote:

    I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.

    I’m pondering the difference!

    Thanks Conor

    • One challenge of open questions is that many people have got used to asking for validation and permission rather than offering up their inspiration and beliefs. It can be scary when you are in the process of transition from seeking validation to standing for yourself. Thanks for the comment. I love this Joseph Campbell quote as well… “The experience of being alive”.

  • JP

    I love the concept of making people wish for the immensity of the sea rather than being instructed to collect wood. Creating a passion in people will fuel a lot more than getting the task done (and hence the trips to the Moon). Related to the story about Science Fiction in China, there is the story of Stanley Kubrick (Director of 2001 etc) going to a robotics lab and asking the scientists what robots will look like in the future. Their reply was “Whatever you make them look like in your films”. It is the vision that fires the practical solution. Too much we do stop people thinking and imagining for themselves because we want to show we know the answer, therefore I’m signing up for the “I don’t know” campaign – watch out Olly!

    • I love the Stanley Kubrick anecdote! The imagination leads the designers 😉 I am sure Olly is in good shape with his father.

  • Coachpatrickv

    I believe curiosity can be the vaccine against saying “I know” and becoming “all knowing”. When we act with curiosity, we are suggesting that we do not know the answers and are open to possibilities. The challenge is to remain curious even when we think we know the answers. Circumstances can change. That I know. 🙂