Rumsfeld’s Knowns and Unknowns: The Intellectual History of a Quip

“I recall many people viewing it as handwaving nonsense meant to cover over reality. It was a laughingstock … but wasn’t [it] a brilliantly pithy piece of popular epistemology? Decoupled from its context, it seemed smart … and I’d wager most people couldn’t tell you what Rumsfeld was talking about when he said it.”