One of the basic premises of all formal scholarship is that it is very difficult to really, really know something. We are taught to doubt our first impressions, gut reactions, instincts, and to look for proof (of facts), for reason and evidence (in support of arguments and interpretations), etc. We learn to be suspicious of any easy or obvious explanation, and to guard against oversimplification. And above all we're taught to be vigilant against the thing that we *hope* to be true, lest we unconsciously massage our research toward showing it to be true despite evidence to the contrary.
While I feel ultimately that such a rigorous model of knowledge is important and useful - I think much popular and civic discourse suffers from an insufficiently rigorous standard of knowledge, honestly - it can also be a personal handicap. We are in the process of buying a condominium, which would be our first owned home, and we are in the middle of home inspections and asbestos testing and reviewing the condo documents and all that entails. As a result, we are being asked to review and evaluate whole categories of information that we have never encountered before or are unequipped to readily understand. Despite the fact that we are two of the most overeducated people you could ever hope to meet, it is proving a challenge to draw conclusions from all this data, especially when they are (a) potentially expensive conclusions, (b) legally binding conclusions, and (c) made under deadlines that have to be met for the whole process to finish up by the closing date in late December. But add to that the intense consciousness of how ill-suited our experience and intellectual toolset is to the task we face, and the result (for me, although not necessarily for my extrovert husband) is a sense of deep trepidation.
I suppose the only comfort is the immortal words of Zorba the Greek: "To live is to ask for trouble."