This wonderful commentary by David Brooks was recently brought to my attention. It is entitled A Case of Mental Courage and I highly recommend it. I especially enjoyed the final paragraphs:
To use a fancy word, there’s a metacognition deficit. Very few in public life habitually step back and think about the weakness in their own thinking and what they should do to compensate. A few people I interview do this regularly (in fact, Larry Summers is one). But it is rare. The rigors of combat discourage it.
Of the problems that afflict the country, this is the underlying one.
Because we so rarely think about the weakness in our own thinking, we have, to use Brooks marvelous phrase, become "mentally flabby." Unlearning is one strategy to keep your mind quick, flexible, adaptable and strong.