Reasonable Doubt

Not Knowing Is OK

Embrace ambiguity, investigate reality

II have a sad framed picture of a sad printout that reads “Not knowing is OK.” It’s a horoscope of sorts, part of a brilliant art-design project by an Ohio-born artist named Austin Kleon, whose work has guided me for years. It’s a great thing to remember in general, and it proved to be an interesting starting point for this month’s issue of the magazine.

It led to questions such as: What do we trust? What can we believe—and what can’t we? What does it take to change people’s minds, at a moment when the truth itself is in doubt? For Medium’s February issue, the theme is Reasonable Doubt, and we will tackle these questions and more. We’ll be bringing you stories on faith in science and medicine; on our increasing discomfort with machines and on the miracles cures we want to believe in; on social trust and the challenge of seeing other people as they are, online and IRL; on the psychological effects that secretly drive what we believe and disbelieve in politics and religion, marketing and identity, gender, and race.

There is a lot to unpack in these uncertain times, but we’re glad you’re here. Follow us all month long at Medium on Reasonable Doubt.

P.S. One more thing about the theme: I spent the first many years of my career working at rap magazines like The Source and Vibe, during those early 2000s when hip-hop took over the world. I listened to the albums, I profiled the rappers, and I attended the awards shows, which I still can’t tell you about. All those hits, all that music, and to my grave I’ll insist that Jay-Z’s 1996 debut, Reasonable Doubt, remains the best rap album of all time.

Is that reasonable? We’ll never know, not for sure. But not knowing is OK.

VP, Editorial @Medium. I write and edit, usually in that order.

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