The known unknowns

Before Donald Trump became president of the United States, the most famous Donald in American politics was Donald Rumsfeld. In 2002, as Secretary of Defense, he gave his famous “known unknown” answer when questioned about the lack of evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction:

“Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because 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 do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

We know there will be a crash in the future, but is is unknown what it will be. The financial meltdown of 2008 and the Covid pandemic were both once in a lifetime events. Who’s to say they won’t be another once in a lifetime event in something else soon? We just don’t know. But we do know that it will happen.

The thing is, not to panic. We knew it was coming, what it would be was unknown.



Steven Barrett

17 May 2021