If you are in the business of finding out what’s true — whether that business is social science, military intelligence, journalism, the hard sciences or something else — there is an elusive quality you find among the best in the field. It might be called the Cold Eye.
It’s not a term you will find in textbooks. It’s a matter of character as much as professional skill. It’s some combination of having the mental discipline to gird yourself against your own biases, the instinct to resist the tendency to think that knowledge once learned is static and an ability to look at more signals, data points and ideas from disparate places than other people usually do.
Perhaps more important, the Cold Eye is motivated by a deep intellectual independence and a passionate psychological connection to telling the truth. Read more