Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Response - Knowledge, Society And The Universe

Thank you for the interesting comments, I seldom meet others that wish to have a deep discussion on this subject.

"In the past information just to be the most valuable treasures. People would kill, literally, for some new information. Philosopher Locke was educated on this culture, but he change the way commonplace book where written, for him the most important part of taking notes about any thing interesting was the possibility of retrieving them."
Indeed, in the past, information and knowledge were most sought after by man due to the sheer scarcity of its existence. Today, knowledge of every type is abundant, but when something is abundant, it is easy to take such things for granted. Today, knowledge seems to be more valued at how entertaining it is.

"I find that people like your self are the type, that believe that information should be free. But then starts a philosophical dilemma, up to what point should we share our knowledge?, or what kind of knowledge should we freely share?"
Absolutely, I believe that certain knowledge should be free. Nobody can copyright reality or claim it as their own. If knowledge is simply uncovering the truth about our existence, this present reality, nobody should be able to claim it as their own. Reality is reality, it is not mine nor yours. Therefore, under ideal circumstances, knowledge should be free. But knowledge can be used for good purposes and bad purposes. What if someone would use such knowledge to kill millions of people? "He should not have access to knowledge, then." But we cannot read someone's mind and know their intent. Much like cutting the top of a weed but leaving the root, left to our present methods, man will only be able to tinker with the symptoms of the evils that plague us (By building prisons, amending laws, etc.).

In addition, humans possessing any great deal of power (Political, financial, etc.) are prone to abusing it. In my opinion, the system man has built up is too flawed and beyond hope of reform. Add to this religions that are designed to exploit this system of rule and the people within it, and you have a very combustible combination simply waiting for the spark to ignite it. Regardless of the bright forecast that others (Such as politicians) might present for the future, I fear that unless some sort of drastic action is taken soon, the total collapse of society is imminent. I only hope that after the smoke clears away, there are still people standing.

I am not some sort of paranoid anti-government tin-foil man, but no matter how I think about the various problems, I cannot see a happy ending within easy grasp. A while ago in a book I found an interesting quote by Henry Kissinger, and I put it in Supermemo: "Every civilization that has ever existed has ultimately collapsed. History is a tale of efforts that failed, or aspirations that weren't realized... So, as a historian, one has to live with a sense of the inevitability of tragedy." I feel the same way.

"I hope it doesn't sound greedy, you know I like sharing my related experiences, but are constant questions on my mind."
I love sharing experiences also. The goal of this blog is to prevent others from repeating the same mistakes I made when using Supermemo.

"More and more, I think certifications should come with expiration dates."
That is an interesting observation, I never thought of it that way.

"I don't like using many of PW references because he is just to different then most people, he seems to be learning for learning per-se, without some obvious purpose..."
Yeah, I kind of get that same impression.

"Ahh, I welcome singulary, one were singularians have emotions, but were this emotions don't rule over rationality anymore."
The more I learn about science, the more I get the impression that the universe is made up of a set of very elegant and simple principles and patterns that are implemented beyond our comprehension. The more you magnify the small things or look further away at the big things, they all follow the same patterns and resemble one another, like an endless series of boxes within boxes. I will never learn all there is to know, but I will have a lot of fun finding out as much as I can about the universe.

1 comment:

  1. I find interesting and constructive how a single type (or two) can induce a new interesting discussion.

    In my previous comment, the word "singulary, was meant to be "Singularity". This was not supposed to be a Freudian slip, but perhaps it was an unconscious misspelling.

    "The more I learn about science, the more I get the impression that the universe is made up of a set of very elegant and simple principles and patterns that are implemented beyond our comprehension."

    For many people, scientist included, the world is indeed made up of quite simple principles. Your assertion has sparked a inquiry: is it the world made up of principles or is it that our mind has the constant property of making sense of the world by laying out principles.

    This has been some interesting response, I welcome reading and discussing further topics.

    Good luck!.