“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”

“The more you know, the more you know you don’t know”

Maybe it was Aristotle who said “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.”

I say maybe because the verbiage sounds a bit basic when compared to the typical wisdom handed down by the father of modern formal logic. Maybe goodreads.com was lying in their attribution of this fun saying. However, if it was Aristotle who said it, then I am indeed having a very Aristotle-ian start to the summer Vail Symposium programs.

Let me explain.
eaaf8ca0d6d40f60c7c186cddc26712eSo far this season the Symposium has hosted six programs ranging from matters of consciousness and a workshop to the economic status of women in Colorado, golf, nonprofit community engagement and healthcare. Through it all I’ve sat wide-eyed in the audience, or, in one instance, pigeon footed and frustrated on the fairway wishing I knew more about every single one of these topics.

I admire the speakers who visit our community for their sheer expertise on the topics they present, their drive to learn more and do more. The audience experience is a little different with these topics. The speakers visit us for two hours, give or take, and the amount of information they share in that time is astounding. Really, our speakers do a great job. But forever and always I am left impassioned, promising myself I will get home and google this question or that statement to learn more. I buy the speakers’ books and chip away at the stack on my bedside only to start a new stack at the start of a new season. I always want to know more.

I’ve now been with the Symposium for three years. That’s six season. I’ve learned about mountain climbers and deep sea divers, bankers and the men and women who regulate those bankers, doctors and lawyers, authors and painters, filmmakers and politicians. I’ve cracked the “100 mark” on programs I’ve attended. While you might recognize how this offers me the upper hand in most dinner conversations, can you imagine my realizations of how much there is left to learn?!

I look at the programs still to come this summer, 19 to be exact, and know I’ll be moved, stimulated, challenged, entertained and excited by every one of them. This is the what the Vail Symposium is all about.  Our audience will be left with so many seeds of knowledge that the valley will ultimately flower with a forest thirsting for more.

Now that sounds like something Aristotle would have said, had he lived in Vail.

-John O.

John O’Neill is the Marketing Director for the Vail Symposium. His favorite program is most likely the last one he attended. He is not very good at golf but aspires to be one day.

Have you been moved by a program, speaker, topic or experience at the Vail Symposium?  Write an entry into our journal and we’ll publish it here! Please submit any entries to john@VailSymposium.org. Please give your entry a title, keep submissions under 500 words and include a brief bio about yourself (bonus if your bio is funny). Thanks!

Comment List

  • Laurie K 02 / 07 / 2016 Reply

    You’ve captured the Symposium Experience perfectly John! Well done.

  • Rob LeVine 04 / 07 / 2016 Reply

    I remember when Fraidy Aber was leaving the Symposium after her tenure as Executive Director, one of her comments was, “I’m at my smartest ever … thanks to all the VS programs I’ve been able to attend.”
    BTW John, she claimed TWO hundred! I hope you hit that milestone and more.

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