As we read the morning headlines, we are offered one surprise after another. The 2008 economic crisis seemed to come out of nowhere. The rampant fraud at Enron and MCI caught us off guard. BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was like a freak accident.
The truth is that there are very few surprise in life. Most of what’s happening, whether it’s corporate misbehavior or government coverups or relationship gone awry, are visible but we cast a blind eye to the truth. This phenomena of not seeing what’s right before our eyes is called willful blindness. We chose to ignore what we can see because we don’t want what we see to be true.
Thomas White interviews Margaret Heffernan, author of Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril, and myself.