It is one thing to say, "a wise man knows his limitations." Recently, MrJonez and I shared a few quotes to this effect on Twitter:
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
"The wise know too well their weakness to assume infallibility; and he who knows most knows best how little he knows." ~ Thomas Jefferson
"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." ~ Socrates
My assumption is that Socrates, Gandhi and Jefferson >>> Dr. D and Mr Jonez; I don't know how you feel about the matter. :- )
But it takes it to the next level to contemplate the nature of our limitations, Buddhist-style. The Dalai Lama would attain humility by starting with a definition of limitations, and proceed to their consequences, and he would meditate until --- > he had truly convinced himself of a properly-low view of himself. That is the Buddhist approach.
It takes it to the third level to read the below, I think:
When I was a kid in school in Kansas City in the '70's, the teachers absolutely refused to say slavery was a cause of the Civil War. The only answer was that it was about states rights. Being the smart-alec that I am, I questioned this and stated that they wanted their rights as states in order to keep slavery.
I was shouted down on this. Thus began the journey. Having read a lot of history since then, I have my own opinion that differs from what I was told in school. I think you can be taught history, but your can only learn it on your own once you get away from whatever agenda is being pushed on you. You have to go find out on your own what you were taught was either wrong or right, and why.
Asked by: 77royals
Thanks. We never REALLY understand history. We just get a little glimpse of it once in a while. Sometimes I am stunned by what I don't understand about baseball history, and baseball history is. . .what, 1% of 1% of 1% of 1% of world history?
It is, on a certain level, absurd that a mind like Bill James' would have dedicated itself to understanding baseball. Here you have the most extreme example possible of a great mind focusing on a tiny subject; maybe Bobby Fischer outdid James on this, maybe not.
Then James turns around and tells you he is very, very fallible when it comes to his grasp of baseball and baseball history.
It does not take a very robust humility to draw the conclusion. What chance do any of us have of understanding the Civil War? Or anything else?
We would understand BETTER if we would offer suggestions to one another in a friendly manner, as opposed to Tweeting dogma back and forth. ;- )
Baseball players and managers are famous for their meekness and tentativeness when speaking to one another. A player will say X; his manager will say, "Yes, but my QUESTION is..." One of the most beautiful things about baseball is the meekness about the players. In the booth, the players radiate this humility on a night-in, night-out basis.