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Some allegorical realities of knowledge & intelligence - part I

book and quill... an original inkwell philosophical analysis

Part 1 - connecting the dots and the jungle of knowledge

(1st edition - Jan 2015) by A.O. Kime
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While it is certainly understandable why one can’t ‘know everything’ - being that there is simply too much to know among other limiting reasons - but despite this truth societies have still managed to progress in remarkable ways. On the other hand, the list of problems this reality has posed and continues to pose is endless.

Of course, that is nothing new. Similarly, there are many other obvious statements one can make… except nobody is particularly interested in hearing again what they heard before.

However, under a different light (or looked at from different angles) sometimes the obvious will show its other colors. After all, like a chameleon is the ’obvious’. A better choice of words can provide a clearer understanding or one somewhat different… perhaps even vastly different.

But first, it should be noted that not every analogy used here is different enough to shed a meaningful new light. Nor are analogies always relied upon since also put forth are just general statements - but if said different enough then…

Yet to try summarizing some realities can be very challenging. Often with many faces - they are like trying to rope a whole herd of cattle with one toss of the lasso. Government is a good example and so is the ‘human experience’ being so dependent on health, money and social position. Anyway, the intention here isn’t to focus on any particular aspect of knowledge or intelligence… which should explain this article’s disjointedness.

Also, much of what is said is in the abstract (the general idea, not concrete) requiring some degree of imagination.

Connecting the dots

Curious… people are always driven to connect the dots. It’s as if “thou shall connect” is a directive built into our brain and a mental process yet to be acknowledged. While it is commonly known the brain has many facets - meaning then that it isn’t just ’one thing’ - intelligence isn’t just one thing either. Like the weather, there must be several driving forces behind intelligence whether it be in gathering it or in comprehension.

After all, there are several driving forces behind awareness, one’s state of mind and moods… being just the short list.

While rapid-fire connections (conclusions) is often the case and obviously necessary to quickly figure something out - for judgment calls sometimes it‘s done too hastily. Provided time isn’t a factor, those with a ‘tight rein’ on their mental faculties tend to rush to judgment whereas those more confident tend not to rush. In other words, those with a ‘loose rein’ aren’t intimidated by a bunch of unknowns flying around in their head.

Of course, people usually know when it’s okay to let things hang and when it’s not okay. A little meter in our brain tells us.

The jungle

At this point it should be stated that progress (of any kind) is the result of finding the right truths and then utilizing them… although not so easy considering the vastness of truths. It’s like a great jungle with seemingly no boundaries plus it is so mystifying, dense and dark…although with each step taken forward is accompanied by light. It soon becomes clear… within this realm of all things knowable the false doesn‘t exist. Only when one stumbles upon the false do they know they’ve strayed outside.

For the toddler it all begins as an unexplored jungle with no trails at all. Then later, as youngsters, which trails to follow is taught… the jungle then becomes known but only from the point-of-view they get from walking the instructed paths (thus being ‘beaten paths‘). Then, as adults, it is necessity and curiosity which spurs them further along.

Yet, there is ample evidence that in some cases the intellect itself is guided. Divine emanation is not uncommon for those whose spiritual forces have not been injured.

Of course, also helpful in all of this are books and the advice from others to ‘point the way’. While advice is more like the general idea, books are more like a roadmap. Especially textbooks.

But there are other differences. Advice, usually not spelled out in great detail, requires filling in the gaps whereas most books have already painted the picture. Not necessarily a perfect picture but usually one more complete. As a result, deeper are the mental impressions from the gap-filling than from what one learns from a book. Plus, unlike most books, advice is usually more decorated with doubts which leads one to double-check everything. Double-checking and gap-filling means one becomes more intimate with the subject.

On the other hand, it’s hard to remember what one studies in a textbook. And, because what is learned can be so fleeting - especially the details - there seems to be a message in this. Due to the absorption difficulty it’s as if studying a textbook is the act of steering oneself in the wrong direction. Of course, it could mean ‘that’ textbook… that the interest really isn’t there. In that case it is akin to ’cheating’… although necessary if one is determined to stick to that path.

But there may be another reason it just feels iniquitous. While knowledge is necessary to make a decent living these days, perhaps originally people felt ‘learning more than necessary’ was pretentious (trying to be godlike). Perhaps it is a feeling we’ve inherited… which, by the way, would suggest some (or all) instincts are ‘developed’.

But before continuing with more thoughts about knowledge and intelligence, some details…

Certainly the concern over ‘learning more than necessary’ was great during the beginnings of chemistry during the 14th century… notably with King Henry IV of England and the Catholic Church. Known then as ‘alchemy’, both saw it as witchcraft and issued edicts banning its development. Later, of course, the bans were lifted. However - in light of all the environmental damage - one could say chemistry is indeed witchcraft.

On the other hand, it’s a matter of fighting fire with fire. In order to combat evil, the forces of good must also learn these things. Nonetheless, there seems a hex associated with ’learning more than necessary’. The consequences from abandoning the simple life is now more evident than ever.

While for ages the simple life has been slowly eroding away, the purposeful destruction of family farmers during the 20th century all but wiped it out. From a peak of 6-1/2 million farms in 1935, a 1992 census counted only 1,925,300 American farms left - less than during the pre-Civil War days of 1860.

In the 1930’s, 25% of the population lived on a farm, now it is less than 2%. In rural America today the yellow school buses are running nearly empty. In far too many cases, milking cows was replaced with tattoos, gangs and shooting up drugs.

Where is the intelligence here?

(end of part 1)
(see part 2 - see part 3)

A.O. Kime

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Last modified: 03/09/16