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Can we know only what we are prepared to kno


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#1    coberst

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 11:14 AM

Can we know only what we are prepared to  know?

If an individual has never learned to add and subtract that individual cannot learn how to divide and multiply.  

Our American educational system, K-12, attempts to teach minimum fundamentals that prepare an individual to function within our high tech society.  Our colleges and universities generally augment these fundamentals with some form of specialized knowledge that will make it possible for graduates to obtain good jobs.  

Few graduates from our American educational system are prepared to comprehend the very complex type of problems our society encounters.  In a democracy such as ours the citizens can choose the politicians to act as their representatives in government.  In a democracy such as ours the citizen can veto any public policy that they do not comprehend even though it might be necessary for the survival of the American culture and perhaps even of the survival of the human species.

Under such circumstances is a democratic form of government adequate?  

If not what form of government is adequate?  

Is it possible for us to educate citizens to the higher level of sophistication that is required to manage a sophisticated high tech society such as ours?



#2    Meiliken

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 08:30 AM

coberst on Mar 31 2009, 07:14 AM, said:

Can we know only what we are prepared to  know?

If an individual has never learned to add and subtract that individual cannot learn how to divide and multiply.  

Our American educational system, K-12, attempts to teach minimum fundamentals that prepare an individual to function within our high tech society.  Our colleges and universities generally augment these fundamentals with some form of specialized knowledge that will make it possible for graduates to obtain good jobs.  

Few graduates from our American educational system are prepared to comprehend the very complex type of problems our society encounters.  In a democracy such as ours the citizens can choose the politicians to act as their representatives in government.  In a democracy such as ours the citizen can veto any public policy that they do not comprehend even though it might be necessary for the survival of the American culture and perhaps even of the survival of the human species.

Under such circumstances is a democratic form of government adequate?  

If not what form of government is adequate?  

Is it possible for us to educate citizens to the higher level of sophistication that is required to manage a sophisticated high tech society such as ours?


You asked the right question.  Just steer clear from the threads of ancient civilizations.  They seem to think that people will question anything, even if they don't know to question.  If one is born and taught that 1+1=3, and are never taught the truth, they'll never question it because they don't realize to.  So yes, people only learn what they're are prepared to learn prior. thumbsup.gif


The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
Sir Richard Francis Burton

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance
Hippocrates

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

#3    coberst

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 10:32 AM

I am convinced that we cannot "see" that which we are not prepared to "see"; metaphor ‘know is see’.

It is like walking in a forest such that we are unable to see very far because the trees restrict our view.  We can use the analogy of walking in the forest, which to see beyond the surrounding trees we must have the means to climb a tall tree to see a bit further.

Perhaps we might extend the analogy to say that we must have some means to raise our self above the surrounding clutter before we can see a bit further.  Only when we find a hill with tall trees and climb one of those trees can we see the mountain ahead, which we might climb and see a mountain range in the distance, which we might travel too so that we can see even further.  But as long as we do not climb some trees we cannot see beyond the mundane appearances of our little world of trees that surround us.



#4    Meiliken

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:09 AM

coberst on Apr 1 2009, 06:32 AM, said:

I am convinced that we cannot "see" that which we are not prepared to "see"; metaphor ‘know is see’.

It is like walking in a forest such that we are unable to see very far because the trees restrict our view.  We can use the analogy of walking in the forest, which to see beyond the surrounding trees we must have the means to climb a tall tree to see a bit further.

Perhaps we might extend the analogy to say that we must have some means to raise our self above the surrounding clutter before we can see a bit further.  Only when we find a hill with tall trees and climb one of those trees can we see the mountain ahead, which we might climb and see a mountain range in the distance, which we might travel too so that we can see even further.  But as long as we do not climb some trees we cannot see beyond the mundane appearances of our little world of trees that surround us.


Exactly. thumbsup.gif

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
Sir Richard Francis Burton

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance
Hippocrates

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

#5    randym23

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:17 AM

you should read this article, Socrates felt the same way.
He realized the faults in Democracy. Don't get me wrong, I think Democracy is our
best path for progress, but that does not make it one without bumps.
The only way for it to work is for humanity to finally give up on its animalistic
striving for dominance for dominance sake. This behavior worked when we had
instincts to control our behavior and prevent us from committing atrocities against our own kind.
Now we have self-awareness and choice, and that makes us responsible for our behavior, and we
have to start admitting it. Its time to stop using our past as mere animals as excuses for acting
like that now. We are still animals, but we are animals with choice. We need to educate our populace,
and genuinely adhere to the principles we CLAIM

sorry hit wrong button original.gif
here's that article
http://allanstime.com/Government/socrates_democracy.htm

and visit my site:
Posted Image

#6    Meiliken

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:18 AM

randym23 on Apr 1 2009, 07:17 AM, said:

you should read this article, Socrates felt the same way.
He realized the faults in Democracy. Don't get me wrong, I think Democracy is our
best path for progress, but that does not make it one without bumps.
The only way for it to work is for humanity to finally give up on its animalistic
striving for dominance for dominance sake. This behavior worked when we had
instincts to control our behavior and prevent us from committing atrocities against our own kind.
Now we have self-awareness and choice, and that makes us responsible for our behavior, and we
have to start admitting it. Its time to stop using our past as mere animals as excuses for acting
like that now. We are still animals, but we are animals with choice. We need to educate our populace,
and genuinely adhere to the principles we CLAIM

sorry hit wrong button original.gif
here's that article
http://allanstime.com/Government/socrates_democracy.htm


If there was an emote for applauding, I would.  People need to take responsibility. thumbsup.gif


The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
Sir Richard Francis Burton

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance
Hippocrates

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

#7    randym23

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:34 AM

I found a smiley face for clapping on my hard drive! right click and save for future use!
clap.gif


I just had that already in my mind this morning.
Thanks to those who started this thread for giving me a place to vent!


and thank you. grin2.gif


and visit my site:
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#8    Meiliken

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Posted 01 April 2009 - 11:50 AM

randym23 on Apr 1 2009, 07:34 AM, said:

I found a smiley face for clapping on my hard drive! right click and save for future use!
clap.gif


I just had that already in my mind this morning.
Thanks to those who started this thread for giving me a place to vent!


and thank you. grin2.gif


Thank you!
clap.gif

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
Sir Richard Francis Burton

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance
Hippocrates

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley

#9    Virtual Particle

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:33 PM

Too many green zones and forbidden cities. Egyptians had Chinese silk and Mongolians gave Israeli's authority when they invaded Europe. Did you hear about the 2 versions of 1 historical moment? What exactly was the 2nd Reich about?? Democracy's work so long as everyone does not freak out that is true but still too many green zones and forbidden cities.  

The stars might fall from the sky when Andromeda gets here but, that will take another 3 to 4 billion years.

Any thoughts?



Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#10    rainydayz2889

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:47 AM

I would have to say to the original question that of course people only know what they expect to question. There is of course that rare person that will question everything just for the sake of it, but people are going to think what they have been told most of their life, it's all perception..

On a seperate note, what exactly is a green zone?


#11    Virtual Particle

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:09 AM

rainydayz2889 on Apr 4 2009, 09:47 PM, said:

I would have to say to the original question that of course people only know what they expect to question. There is of course that rare person that will question everything just for the sake of it, but people are going to think what they have been told most of their life, it's all perception..

On a seperate note, what exactly is a green zone?



Saddam Hussein lived  when he ruled Iraq lived in what today is called the "green zone". In many third world countries the leaders live separated from there population. A small state of the art city is built and that is where the leaders live completely separate lives.

Time is a form of communication
Consciousness transcends all states
that can be perceived as matter
Matter communicates its existence
to consciousness through time        
Man is infinite
God is more
Black Hole Creates Spectacular Light Show

#12    Siara

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 02:36 AM

coberst on Apr 1 2009, 10:32 AM, said:

I am convinced that we cannot "see" that which we are not prepared to "see"; metaphor ‘know is see’.


I haven't had that experience in my life.  Well-- actually it's impossible to tell whether I've had it or not because it's impossible to prove that I saw something I wasn't ready to see.  If I wasn't ready to see it how would it look?  Different from how it would look if I was ready to see it?

The reason I don't think it's been true for me is that I'm still capable of being totally surprised by things I didn't think were possible.  Things that I learned were BEYOND DOUBT when I was a kid that held true for 40 years suddenly turn out to have exceptions that leave me slack jawed with amazement.  I'm very thankful that this is the case because it makes growing older a lot more interesting.  

There are many things in the world of science that I had no anticipation of ever learning.  I wouldn't say that I wasn't prepared to see them but I'm positive that I never in my wildest dreams expected to see them- so that's not exactly "prepared" to see them either.  There are also things that I thought were constants in my personal life that have changed (some for the better, some for the worse).

I refuse to believe that I was prepared to see things that have come as a total dumbfounding shock.  If you say I must have been ready because I saw them then you're just playing around with a tautology.

I wonder if the older folks in this forum would be more apt to disagree with the statement that 'we only see what we're prepared to see'.  I think I would have believed it when I was 25 but now that I'm 50 I've been surprised so many times I don't believe it any more.


#13    coberst

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 11:20 AM

Siara

Our society has little regard for understanding because knowledge is sufficient for good production and consumption, besides understanding only creates independent thinking and that leads to problems.  When we march passed knowing into understanding we better comprehend that we can see only what we are prepared to see.

Comprehension is a hierarchy, resembling a pyramid, with awareness at the base followed by consciousness, succeeded by knowing, with understanding at the pinnacle.

I have concocted a metaphor set that might relay my comprehension of the difference between knowing and understanding.

Awareness--faces in a crowd.

Consciousness—smile, a handshake, and curiosity.

Knowledge—long talks sharing desires and ambitions.

Understanding—a best friend bringing constant April.


I am a retired engineer and my experience in the natural sciences leads me to conclude that these natural sciences are far more concerned with knowing than with understanding.

Understanding is a long step beyond knowing and most often knowing provides the results that technology demands.  Technology, I think, does not want understanding because understanding is inefficient and generally not required.  The natural scientists, with their paradigms, are puzzle solvers.  Puzzles require ingenuity but seldom understanding.



#14    Siara

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 12:39 PM

Meiliken on Apr 1 2009, 08:30 AM, said:

If one is born and taught that 1+1=3, and are never taught the truth, they'll never question it because they don't realize to. So yes, people only learn what they're are prepared to learn prior. thumbsup.gif


I disagree with this statement.  Half of the people will accept it unquestioningly like a bunch of complacent cattle chewing their cud, but the other half WILL question it because, for example, they'll realize that 1+1 can not equal the same thing as 1+1+1.  There are a number of people around who are still capable of logic and common sense.  Interestingly, this group is probably evenly divided between people with loads of formal education and people who have education in the trades (eg- auto mechanics, electricians, carpenters, etc.).  The realization that 1+1 can't equal 3 if 1+1+1 equals three requires people to notice that SOMETHING ISN'T WORKING.

The problem with our modern education system is that we've just been through a long cultural period in which Faith was advanced as a alternative to Science.  People in the general population don't apply the scientific method and notice errors in the system because it's now it's okay for logical errors to exist.   Contradictions don't set off alarms.  The problem isn't that people refuse to see.  It's that they are too ready to accept the idea that things don't need to make sense.

Another problem is that people don't feel comfortable saying, "I don't know".  They feel that this statement reflects some sort of intellectual immaturity.

The true scientific community is continuously evaluating itself with studies, peer reviews and so on.  

Quote

I have concocted a metaphor set that might relay my comprehension of the difference between knowing and understanding.

Awareness--faces in a crowd.

Consciousness—smile, a handshake, and curiosity.

Knowledge—long talks sharing desires and ambitions.

Understanding—a best friend bringing constant April.


To me your premiss implies that people won't see the crowd at all until they're ready to see it.  I disagree.  If the people who don't notice the crowd are active in their environment they WILL COME TO NOTICE because eventually they'll bump into someone and that person will yell, "Hey, watch where you're going".


#15    Meiliken

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 01:13 PM

Siara on Apr 5 2009, 08:39 AM, said:

I disagree with this statement.  Half of the people will accept it unquestioningly like a bunch of complacent cattle chewing their cud, but the other half WILL question it because, for example, they'll realize that 1+1 can not equal the same thing as 1+1+1.  There are a number of people around who are still capable of logic and common sense.  Interestingly, this group is probably evenly divided between people with loads of formal education and people who have education in the trades (eg- auto mechanics, electricians, carpenters, etc.).  The realization that 1+1 can't equal 3 if 1+1+1 equals three requires people to notice that SOMETHING ISN'T WORKING.

The problem with our modern education system is that we've just been through a long cultural period in which Faith was advanced as a alternative to Science.  People in the general population don't apply the scientific method and notice errors in the system because it's now it's okay for logical errors to exist.   Contradictions don't set off alarms.  The problem isn't that people refuse to see.  It's that they are too ready to accept the idea that things don't need to make sense.

Another problem is that people don't feel comfortable saying, "I don't know".  They feel that this statement reflects some sort of intellectual immaturity.

The true scientific community is continuously evaluating itself with studies, peer reviews and so on.  



To me your premiss implies that people won't see the crowd at all until they're ready to see it.  I disagree.  If the people who don't notice the crowd are active in their environment they WILL COME TO NOTICE because eventually they'll bump into someone and that person will yell, "Hey, watch where you're going".



You're misunderstanding what I said.  If someone is raised away from all mankind and raised in the wild, they're not prepared to do for example math.  Or to interact with people, or anything else for that matter.  You added a variable by saying that a person that thinks 1+1=3 would be around others that knew 1+1=2.  I said that they'd never encounter the truth.  If someone is raised that way from birth, and then one day they come across something written that says 1+1=2, they'll think it is wrong automatically because they know no better.  More to that, they won't even question the act of "correcting" it because from their viewpoint, they're right and what was written is wrong.  Even in our current soceity, if everyone was taught completely wrong, they'd not question it.  So my point is valid.  If someone isn't prepared to know something, they'll never know it unless something changes it.  This is why there are people in the world who are still uneducated and won't accept education because they "think" they don't need it.  It's a sad truth, but it is the truth nonetheless.

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself
Sir Richard Francis Burton

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance
Hippocrates

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.
David Hume

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley




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