|The Jolly Contrarian’s Dictionary |
The snippy guide to financial services lingo.™
Unknown unknown /ʌnˈnəʊn/ (n.)
Something that you don’t know that you don’t know, as famously articulated by Donald Rumsfeld. This, of course, presents an immediate paradox, because if you know that you don’t know that you don’t know something — which for you to be talking about unknown unknowns, you must, then this is a known unknown unknown, which I rather think — but to be clear, I don’t know, as such — must be a variety of known unknown. Which makes it an unknown known unknown unknown. Since I do know that I am not sure about this I can confidently, and with some relief, rest my case at a known unknown known unknown unknown.
The four unknowns of the apocalypse
- Known knowns: Things you know you know;
- Known unknowns: Things you know you don’t know;
- Unknown unknowns: Things you don’t know you don’t know;
And the Jolly Contrarian one:
- Unknown knowns: Things you don’t know you do know.