I finally finished The Knowledge Illusion. The five stars here are given despite the writing: It annoyed me a lot, but the thoughts in the book are important enough that they changed my thinking on some issues, so five stars are appropriate.
That said: I liked a lot of the thoughts in it, and I disliked large parts of the writing (both the forced humour and the wandering repetitious examples). I think it would have benefited from strong editing. Despite my annoyance with the style and some of the discussion branches, I liked the core points they make very much.
The part where we know little about our surroundings is something I think about a lot since I can remember. Occasionally it turns into what I call “supply chain anxiety”, when I start over-focusing on all the things I can’t know, and it’s been nice to read discussion of this issue. The part that was new for me concerned group intelligence, and the idea of focusing on group performance and intelligence over individuals. It’s cool and makes sense, and I have a bunch of nonverbal intuitions on this topic that I’m hoping to flesh out in the future.