Selective Ignorance

Definition In Context


selective ignorance (noun): the practice of selectively ignoring distracting, irrelevant, or otherwise unnecessary information received, such as e-mails, news reports, etc.

In Context

Below are instances where “selective ignorance” has been used in context.

“[Mr. Ferriss] has become a pet guru of Silicon Valley, precisely by preaching apostasy in the land of shiny gadgets: just pull the plug. Crawl out from beneath the reams of data. Stand firm against the torrent of information. / His methods include practicing ‘selective ignorance‘—tuning out pointless communiqués, random Twitters, and even world affairs … Work crisis? Pay someone else to worry about it—ideally in Bangalore. On a bet, Mr. Ferriss even hired low-paid, high-skilled workers abroad to find him dates online. (It worked.)”
—New York Times, Too Much Information? Ignore It

“I had decided to cultivate the rarest of skills in
a world of infinite interruption: selective ignorance … the two fundamental principles of selective ignorance are: / 1. If you don’t define your goals clearly, everything seems important and requires action … / 2. trying to make everyone happy—besides being impossible—is the surest way to make yourself miserable.”
—Tim Ferriss, ChangeThis, The Low-Information Diet: How to Eliminate E-Mail Overload and Triple Productivity in 24 Hours

Timothy Ferriss, author of the best-selling 4-Hour Workweek, talks about “cultivating selective ignorance

“People look at a Top 10 list and they buy #1 more than they think about how it got there. That distribution curve relates to the Pareto ’80/20′ Principle, which — as you could’ve predicted — was emphasized by Tim Ferriss as a way of focusing on the very best stuff while ‘cultivating selective ignorance‘ (I love that phrase) about the rest.”
—, Why All the Best Marketers Know Each Other

“We’re in a world of infinite interruption and infinite minutia. Practice ‘selective ignorance’—you don’t need to know and follow everything.”
—Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings, Web 2.0 productivity

In the entry entitled, “Selective Ignorance on Human Rights,” Charlie Foxtrot discusses how “the great liberal newspapers of record (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Boston Globe, and SF Chronicle)” have turned a “selective blind eye” to the abuse of Cuban prisoners.
—Charlie Foxtrot, Selective Ignorance on Human Rights

“Smart athletes learn to pick their battles: if you try to do everything … you end up accomplishing nothing. Specialization is the key to progress. And the only way you can specialize is to be ‘OK’ with ignoring a lot of exercises, philosophies, and trends, no matter how promising they may seem. If you think of yourself as a professional, or at least aspire to a professional training ethic, you must adopt selective ignorance as your way of life.”
—The Brinkzone Blog, Embracing Selective Ignorance

Selective Ignorance … For some of us, it’s true that ignorance is bliss. In this day and age, when you can’t avoid information if you try, that statement seems like heresy.”
—Femmes Fatales, Selective Ignorance

“Trusting things will work out (even if you’re a natural “black hat,” as Edward de Bono puts it in Six Thinking Hats) is comforting. I think of this as conscious suspension of the perceived facts, or selective ignorance. Try starting a daily gratitude practice such as keeping a journal of things that went well each day.”
—Matthew Cornell – Productivity Consultant, How to stay balanced and productive during uncertainty and crisis

“In the decade I have been selectively ignorant, I have not missed out on anything major that has happened and as I head towards 50 I still have all my hair, am only slightly gray, have excellent blood pressure and cholesterol, sleep through the night without drugs and more. Genetic? Some of it, sure. Lifestyle, probably. Selective Ignorance? I believe it’s part of it.”
—I Work At Home, Selective Ignorance

In the entry title, “Selective Ignorance, A Cornerstone of Child Rearing”
—The Daily Cat Chase, Selective Ignorance, A Cornerstone of Child Rearing

“I realize now that I have adopted my own disease……selective ignorance. If I am not signing a behavior report, I don’t want to hear about [my child’s] misdeeds.”
—Queen of the Mayhem, Selective Ignorance

Here’s how I conquered my information overload and learned to love selective ignorance … Remove Your Distractions … Surf Smarter … Let Information Come to You …”
—Jason Unger, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Selective Ignorance

Selective Ignorance is a practice that government, CEOs, CIOs, COOs, Financial Analyst and etc..Have seemed too instituted among themselves and their peers. A sort of get out jail card, when the bottom falls out. Repercussions are only felt by you and me.”
—aussie112964a, ShoeString Entrepreneur

“Realizing that parents would be terrified if they were aware of everything their children did, [Garrison Keillor] surmises that ‘selective ignorance’ is ‘a cornerstone of child rearing.’”
—Marcia Conger, Garrison Keillor

Vote for “selective ignorance” as Word of the Year.

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