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We are almost always wrong, maybe not all the way wrong, but at least a little bit. Even the simplest questions have vast complexities built into them, and understanding that we never fully understand things leads to a much healthier and more effective relationship with the world.

It's really hard to come to terms with, but there it is. If you're curious about why we don't drink Pig's milk, Hank Sock posted an essay that is online at


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A Bunny
( - -)
((') (')
Good morning John, and thank you for your video on Monday in which you treated us to a glimpse of the magnificently complicated world that defines the lives of small plants that happen to produce fibrous strands of cellulose that can be converted into things…

Sock puppet: Like me!

And that is mind-blowing, I mean, it’s cotton- and you didn’t even scratch the surface of how complicated the actual global cotton industry is! The number of people, things, and complexities necessary to turn, you know, like sunlight, air, and soil into a shirt? You don’t even wanna know!

It reminds me of something else you said to me recently, you said ‘Hank, it all comes down to the fact that the truth resist simplicity.’ And you’re always saying marvelous things like that, and it’s always very frustrating, because, for me to come up with marvelous things like that I have to be like, typing for hours and hours and hours and I’d be like, oh, that’s a good, that’s one good thing that I came up with. But that’s why you’re the professional writer and I'm the professional…goofball. I feel like I need to do something now to prove that I'm the professional goofball, maybe I'll just- [slaps self] Ooowwww!

Anyway, I just love that, the truth resists simplicity, I love it especially because, it’s a simple truth talking about how rare simple truths are. Is there a word for that? It feels like there should be a word for that. I'm not the writer! Nerdfighters, comments, tell me if there’s a word for that.

We like to think that the most complicated things that we’re ever gonna learn are the hard sciences like math and physics and chemistry, but really, those are the simple things. Cause at least there’s definite answers. At least at the level you’re learning about in high school, now that I think about it, chemistry and physics, and math, there’s a lotta stuff that’s not definite.

But what’s even more complicated than that is like, history! When your history teacher gives you a test, there’s a question that says ‘What were the implications of the Magna Carta?’ Nobody freakin’ knows the answer to that question! Maybe without the Magna Carta we’d all be Nazis. Maybe we’d all be dead! Maybe we’d be fighting an evil race of genetically engineered space monsters! Maybe we’d all be drinking pig’s milk for breakfast!

Sock puppet: Probably not.


Sock Puppet: There’s good reasons why we don’t drink pig’s milk.

W-like-really? Like what?

Sock puppet: Well, it’s complicated.

Oh, of course it’s complicated, what’s so complicated about it?

Sock puppet: Well it has to do with a lot of different stuff, like the reproductive system of the pigs, and the practice of breeding pigs generally for meat and not for dairy-

Even the reason we don’t drink pigs milk is complicated! Wow, Hank sock, I had no idea that you were such a specialist on pig milking…practices.

Sock puppet: Well, there’s a lot of stuff you don’t know about me.

We love simplicity, and we want simple stories. Like, we want there to be a homeless man with a golden voice that was never recognized for his talent until the internet found him, when in actuality it’s a story of a man who went to school and worked hard to develop his voice then made a thousand bad decisions that led to him becoming homeless, not because no one recognized his talent, but because he was addicted to alcohol and drugs.

We want the untainted love of Edward and Bella to be both perfect and immortal, and it can be, because it’s fake! We want simple solutions! This intelligent looking Asian man for example thinks that maybe they can power the entire amusement park with a hybrid drive! Even though that would violate the third law of thermodynamics! Which apparently people at Toyota’s advertising don’t know about, uh, it’s the one where you can’t create energy from nothing!

And we wanna make simple assumptions about the tragedy in Tucson. We want to fit it into our simplistic worldview, where we can blame the people we’re already blaming, when really, it’s just a breakdown in the most complicated system, probably in the known universe: the human brain. And that same system, so thoroughly damaged somehow, still functioning in congresswoman Giffords, proving once again that the truth. Resists. Simplicity.

I think one of the principal facets of being a mature and healthy and effective person is understanding…that you are almost always wrong. And you might not be all the way wrong, but at least…a little bit. You’re always a little bit wrong. We, as a species, don’t know the answer to the vast majority of questions. And it turns out that one of the hardest parts of all this, and possibly the most important part, is accepting, that we don’t have those answers. And that our simple little explanations, are flawed. Sometimes dangerously flawed, especially when we start talking about political news analysis.

Thanks John, for making me think about all that stuff, I'm gonna go play Lego Harry Potter now, because at least there, I know the difference between good and evil. John I'll see you on Friday.