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Anil Dash at PdF '10: Ignorance Has Its Advantages

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, June 17 2010

Video from Personal Democracy Forum is being processed as things roll along. Since I was running around like a chicken sans head for much of the event, I'm finding it enjoyable to catch up on what went on through the footage. Perhaps you will too.

In this installment, Anil Dash -- formerly part of the team at blogging company Six Apart and now the head of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Expert Labs (more about which you can find here) -- advocates for applying the startup principles from the tech world to improving the practice of governing and policymaking.

Those startup principles that, Dash argues, should be embraced in government? For one using "ignorance as an advantage." Being usefully ignorant, as Dash tells it, means ignoring the constraints that limited others who had set upon the same task in the past. Being usefully ignorant means asking your friends (and friends of friends, and friends of friends of...) for help. Being usefully ignorant means knowing that its easier to go to where the people already are than scheming to make them come to you. Being usefully ignorant means knowing that your first attempt might well fall plenty short, and embracing the beautiful potential of inevitable iteration.

Give it a watch.