An ignorant mind is precisely not a spotless, empty vessel, but one that’s filled with the clutter of irrelevant or misleading life experiences, theories, facts, intuitions, strategies, algorithms, heuristics, metaphors, and hunches that regrettably have the look and feel of useful and accurate knowledge. This clutter is an unfortunate by-product of one of our greatest strengths as a species. We are unbridled pattern recognizers and profligate theorizers. Often, our theories are good enough to get us through the day, or at least to an age when we can procreate. But our genius for creative storytelling, combined with our inability to detect our own ignorance, can sometimes lead to situations that are embarrassing, unfortunate, or downright dangerous—especially in a technologically advanced, complex democratic society that occasionally invests mistaken popular beliefs with immense destructive power (See: crisis, financial; war, Iraq).
This paragraph tells us that the ignorant mind is filled with a clutter of misleading theories and facts. The clutter is a by-product of our ability, as a species, to recognize patterns and theorize based on these. But this very same genius for storytelling, along with our inability to recognize our own ignorance, can put us in undesirable situations. Option B captures all the key ideas of the paragraph: (a) our mental clutter- a by-product of our storytelling ability, (b) our ignorance of our own ignorance, and (c) how this can hamper our judgement, leading us to undesirable situations. Option A states that ability to recognize patterns and creatively formulate theories is the "greatest weakness” of our species. The paragraph given does not say this. Also, this option does not touch upon our inability to detect our own ignorance, which is an important point made in the paragraph. Not only do we formulate theories out of irrelevant or misleading information, we are ignorant of this. Option C states that our ignorance is "compounded" by our tendency to create stories out of the clutter in our minds. What the paragraph states is different. The paragraph states that our tendency to recognize patterns and tell stories based on these creates mental clutter. Also, option C does not talk of our inability to detect our own ignorance. Option D states that our tendency to weave stories out of the mental clutter "often" leads to truly dangerous situations. This overemphasizes the point. The paragraph only mentions that our creative storytelling ability and ignorance of our own ignorance can "sometimes" lead to situations that are embarrassing, unfortunate, or downright dangerous. Further, this option too does not mention our inability to detect our own ignorance. Correct Answer: Choice (B)
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