Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Illusion of Knowing!

Ah, it’s been a while since I sat down comfortably in front of my laptop and vomited out a work, for my own personal satisfaction.
Now I’ve been reading the shit I drop into this blog and noticed something strange. It seems that I magically missed a topic very dear to me. A topic that I come across day in and day out in my life...and that is the Illusion of knowing! Indeed. A fantastic and a tiring thing, always hitting you in the most painful of spots.

Let’s imagine a situation. You’re talking to your friends and you say something. But you say it in a way that it is easy to misinterpret. Now, you mean something entirely different, but your friends are laughing their ass off, after understanding it in a different way. And even after you wait for them to calm down and try to fix the misunderstanding – they just don’t listen to you. They choose their interpretation and stick to it, thinking that they know better than YOU what was said. YOU, the one who said that “something”. You, who knew the real meaning of the words that came out of your mouth. Yes...that is indeed very annoying sometimes. 

But such a situation is just one of the simplest examples of the “ Illusion of knowing”. Such a thing goes deep, and can reach the deepest parts of our life. Now first of all I would like to point out the moral of that little story with zero specifics – Only you and you alone know what you were really trying to say and no one else will find out that if you do not wish it. Simple.
But we humans think of ourselves just way too good. We think that we are able to correctly interpret everything that our fellow man and woman do, that we can find the real answer behind those actions. Oh, the arrogance of humans. But what do we really know? Do we know anything at all? Can you trust what you read in the paper? Can you trust what you read in history books? Can you trust anything? How do you know that something is in the way you are told it is and no other?

You don’t.

We only know what is taught to us, and what is taught to us is not necessarily true. Well in a way, a lot of things can be partly true. There are a lot of partial truths. Be it in physics, math or other sciences. But even there - the knowledge we have could be only a piece of the whole apple. Indeed, knowledge is limitless in a way and we will always find something new, we will always move forward on that way. But then there is another question. Are we moving in the correct direction? Ah, now that’s a confusing question. How do you know that you chose the correct path? Was there a correct path to begin with? We don’t know. Now that’s something we should indeed know very well – that we know nothing at all.

And that’s how it really is. We live our lives in society, confident in the way of the humans, but never stop to think about the possibility that everything around us is fragile. Like glass that breaks easily.

Does god exist? We don’t know. What were the exact things that happened in the past, that none living human can remember of? We don’t know. Are there any universal truths? We don’t know. And no matter how much we heighten the achievements of man, we still live without real and solid knowledge of the truths that the universe is made off. Only the truths that are given to us are the real ones. That it is a crime to hurt another man, that we have to serve our society, that history is like it is written in the books, that we are informed of everything as it really is. And yet…we still do not know anything for a fact. Even the moral truths we are taught, that you must respect others like you respect yourself, equality, politeness, proper ethics – all that could be as much of a lie as it is true. It all depends on what we are taught from the beginning of our lives and what we see around us. Given enough time killing each other and stealing could be as normal as not doing such things is to us now. Indeed - the “Illusion of knowing”. Such a scary thing it is. Indeed.

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