Knowing and Not Knowing

Pete Holmes is the host of the podcast You Made It Weird and the new Pete Holmes Show.

I give him a thumbs up. I recently got really into him during his podcast interview of Rob Bell.

So now I am watching more Pete Holmes videos, as you should do as well (go ahead, I’ll wait…



… ok, welcome back) and I discovered this amazing clip of him on Conan.


First of all, super funny. Good job Pete.

Secondly, what a profound and deep look at modern culture. We are losing our wonder. Do we do the same with faith? Does the search for the quick answer remove our ability to wonder? I think that we need to wrestle with stuff more and wonder and marvel and guess and hope. Maybe we won’t meet a girl with a Tom Petty shirt or find out the answer to our deep question but we will spend time thinking about things that matter. Isn’t the quest to know almost better part of it all?

I read a recent article, which of course I cannot find now that I bring it up, that talked about how googling makes us dumber. Well, maybe not dumber. But the gist of the essay was that what used to happen was a process of coming to knowledge. We didn’t have the ability to go directly to the thing we needed. One had to go to a library, look up the info in a card catalog or on the microfiche, walk through the shelves, find the book and read and scroll and hunt for the answer. The process of finding out was a just that, a process. A journey where along the way we found all sorts of other things. I remember that feeling, and still love it. I would walk the shelves and another title would catch my eye. Or while scanning the page I found myself reading some else off topic. We don’t do that anymore and that cuts down on our accidental discoveries, we don’t learn other things or the context of the data. We just find the data. So we lose connection from the bigger picture, its all just points not pictures.

I think we do the same with faith. We turn it into data points or little pills made for the job. When we wonder, we look up some answer and apply it. We don’t wade through the unknowing. We need to know now!

I’m as guilty as the next person, but I am trying to just take a second and enjoy the wonder. Thanks Pete for the reminder.

One Comment

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  1. I think this concept of “knowing-but-without-knowledge” is really profound. I think that societally we are actually evolving into a new form of public consciousness. If you haven’t had the chance yet check out Jason Silva’s recent video called ‘Quantified Self-Revolution’ (here:, the piece talks about how as a human race we are being rewired to adapt to our increasingly tech-centric world. Silva places his hopes and dreams on this but for me, I think we are only growing more detached and isolated from human relationships. I think technology is making things faster and easier, but without substance or permanance.

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