Known unknowns

He was the kind of person who got easily confused by efforts to introduce him to new things. To be sure, it was not due to an inability to learn, or an impropensity to pay attention, or a lack of interest, or any other such commonly assumed confounding reason. Instead, it had to do with context. Leave him staring at a waterfall, and he could describe the local water cycle in extensive detail mere hours later. Give him the standard introductory book on water dynamics, and nothing came of it. Teachers had been bedeviled by this tendency for years, but he paid them no mind. He knew that they would not believe him if he explained it to them, so he didn’t. They, after all, thought in detail, not in context

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