The Curse of Certainty — What’s Wrong With Media Today

How Certainty Poisons Society

Jakub Ferencik
5 min readJul 19, 2021


Ignorance more frequently begets knowledge than does knowledge. ‒ Charles Darwin

In an interview with Joe Rogan, the conservative controversial speaker, Candace Owens, exemplified the main problem with certainty.

When Rogan asked her what she thought about anthropogenic climate change and whether we should care about the environment, Owens literally smirked and said “not at all.”

And when Rogan pushed back against her arrogance in assuming that she understands the true intricacies of climate science and environmentalism, Owens revealed that she frankly knew very little. The exchange showed something that is not unique to Owens.

What is unique to Owens is the public platform and the unusual popularity of someone who knows very little and boasts about their refusal to educate themselves. What is not unique to Owens is her inability to justify a view she already holds on adequate data and argument.

So, we shouldn’t be quick to judge her inability to defend her position; we should judge her attitude of superiority and the undeniable responsibility she has to her audience to refuse to answer questions she knows little about. Owens is not the only person who has an audience like this.

We look around today and we see a lot of people with answers. Think of the Ben Shapiros and the Tucker Carlsons of the world.

When people ask them questions, they respond with resounding ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers; they claim to be authorities on issues that they have no clue about. Yet, they have millions of followers and listeners.

And, although I am sure these people are fairly regular and decent people off camera, on camera they resemble the characteristics and certainty of dictators.

What is so attractive about certainty?

Photo by Pawel Janiak on Unsplash

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Jakub Ferencik

Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | RA for EUROPEUM Prague | 700+ articles with 1+ mil. views