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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Do you know less than nothing?

I often do

ClearerThinking recently published a multiple-choice test about the world’s biggest problems.

Pure guessing will give about 35%. So getting below 35% means you know less than nothing.

There are many tests about the world where I know (or at least knew) less than nothing because many of the things that I had known had changed over the decades since school.

It bothers me when the world changes while I am not watching, which probably means that I should start watching since I can’t count on it to stop change.

I don’t suffer from that on this test. It is not set up to trick you. And while most of it requires knowledge of the world, for some of it, strong estimation skills will do.

Leaving aside the estimation skills, I know about nothing.

With estimation skills, I am a bit better than the average participant, who, in turn, did a bit better chance.

Perhaps the one saving grace is that I wasn’t wrong on any of that relatively few questions that I felt confident on.

With the caveat that the test is set up to foster thought about the particular problems that the Effective Altruism community cares about, I dare you to compare your ignorance to my own.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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