METACOGNITION in Argumenation & Communication Strategies (The “Rumsfeld approach”)

One of the dangerous mistakes of many strategical thinking models today is over-emphasising the “unknown unknowns” (things you don’t even know you don’t know) in our decision making process. UNKOWN KNOWNS – our hidden assumptions, unconscious prejudices and cultural/ideological beliefs that shape our behaviour and overdetermine our decision making – deserve much more focus!

As Slavoj Ži pointed out: USA strategy in Iraq in 2000s did not fail because unknown unknowns (not being aware of all the possible monstrosity and weapons waiting for US army in Iraq) but rather due to the ideological background – set of assumptions perceived as self-evident and only possible – that the West had while preparing the intervention (for example the belief in global-neoliberal-democracy as the “end of history”).

If you want to discuss this with your students, I suggest the following starting points: