Answer: We don’t. In fact, we’re not even sure that we know we don’t know. But we don’t know what we don’t know, and we often know a lot less than we think we know about things we think we’re pretty sure of. In other words, realistically speaking, we’ve just been living based on a lengthy series of lucky guesses that have informed a whole set of habits that have been subject to heavy scrutiny but which nevertheless will almost certainly be proven wrong within a few short years. But I really have no way of knowing that.
Epistemology. This is the kind of crap I think about when I’m not at work or otherwise occupied. I don’t know about you, but I take a certain amount of comfort from knowing that within 100 years more or less everything I know will be wrong. Taking the long-term view like that sort of removes the pressure and helps me move contentedly along.