The igno-scholars

The retreat of the unknown

What can make one aware of one’s ignorance? The unknown. The unknown draws a boundary to our individual knowledge. What if the unknown disappears? We are no longer faced with our ignorance. In our own eyes we become omniscient.

Yet the unknown recedes and disappears from everyday life. The media rarely talk about intractable problems, incessantly about discoveries. Never major, despite the thunderous announcements. Layers of knowledge thicken what we already know. The authentic vacuum of knowledge has faded under the sediments of hypotheses covered with new theories. There is no longer even a need to resort to divine mysteries. Science has advanced headlong into the field of original creation. If some authors today seek to confirm God in science, it is because science has come to propose itself as a foundation to God, and not because the religious would have had new theological revelations.

Only still close to the unknown: specialized researchers. They are on the edge of emptiness, they are still aware of their ignorance. The others have access to an infinite universe of information. It makes them believe that their own knowledge is limitless. They are the igno-scholars, the minds who own knowledge as weak as it is overestimated. That the rest is within their reach does not make them owners.

Science is not an accumulation of data

Thinking the opposite that is a nonsense conceived in an arid, forbidding schooling, disgusted of learning by heart. Mind seen as a reservoir of information with limited capacity. Filled, it can no longer accept anything. Attention evaporates. Forgetting useless knowledge makes a little room. The adult is thus consoled for their loss. But all of this is false. The mind is a tree. Properly structured, it can accommodate an incredible amount of information, because they are all linked to each other. It can reconstruct missing information from its branch, such as a fallen leaf growing back in the same place.

The mind is an assembly of representations. The simplest organization uses categories and templates. A more sophisticated mind adds meta-categories and general theories. Synthetic information levels that add up to the data. But the most important criterion of effectiveness is the principle that the mind employs to stage these levels. How does it reason? How does it assign different weights to data, to the point of neglecting some of them?

Knowledge is a time loop

All content can be learned, regardless of the level. Rote mimicry works for models as well as data. A person with eidetic memory can regurgitate the entirety of human knowledge. Did she understand it? I’m not sure. Knowledge has a historicity. In the forms it has taken, as a result, in the course of history. But not just. Its temporal dimension is mainly based on its own sequence of organization. Hierarchy of information systems: axioms + data, lemmas (intermediate results), theory. The theory needs to go back to its past (of axioms and data) to self-validate. Knowledge is a time loop that is perpetually updated.

Knowledge is therefore not made up of fixed elements that it would be enough to draw on an exhaustive network, as the layman does. It is a living structure in every mind, resembling from one person to another only when they use the same metaprincipe.

Knowledge reinterpreted or only cloned?

It is important not to confuse this resemblance with cloning, which results from the absence of a metaprincipe. Those who simply juxtapose data get along perfectly, at least if they have the same. Without a metaprincipe, they learn the interpretation included in the package. This is the difference between religious and scientific groupism. The religious, the antivax, conform their interpretation to that of the group. The scientist, the philosopher, confront theirs. They use a common metaprincipe (refutability for the scientist, phenomenology for the philosopher) but this diversifies their interpretations. This imposes a verification / a retrocontrol for scientific groupism while it is intolerable for religious groupism.

Scientific grouping includes all the data and condenses the solution in the middle of an error cloud. Religious groupism is the solution. It can be nothing but a coalition of data selected so as not to endanger this existential solution.

Scientific completeness vs pseudo-scientific sectarianism

Let’s quickly compare the scientific and pseudo-scientific methods:
1) Scientific: a) exhaustive collection of data, b) variety of models to be applied to them, c) imagination of several possible conclusions, d) choice of a model according to different criteria, including the principle of simplicity, e) experimental verification of the model, f) test of another model in case of failure.
2) Pseudo-scientific: a) predetermined conclusion, b) selection of data to verify it, c) confirmation of the initial belief.

Most of the information on the networks being in the form (2), the surge of the igno-scholars is enormous. A host of experts are revealing themselves to the world, while surveys of the objective level of popular knowledge show that it has never been so low. Knowledge is entirely contained in my smartphone and my smartphone is entirely part of me; so I own all the knowledge. When someone today shows you that you are wrong, you no longer say “I was wrong” but “Yes, I knew it (implied: I did not use the proper section of my infinite knowledge)”.

From the igno-scholar to the possessing-scientist

How to escape this severe cognitive bias? How to become a possessing-scientist ? By regularly cutting oneself off from the continuous flow of information and in particular from its already interpreted part. Let us not keep from this slew of experts only the most remarkable. Too bad for my blog which is not in the circle of the most famous. Find the raw data. Check that their collection is not tainted by links of interest, even more so among whistleblowers than among institutions.

Confront yourself more, isolated, thoughtful, with the unknown. The first unknown being how your mind produces its thoughts. From which roots did your tree structure come from? Surimposium descends so deeply that we will inevitably discover common ones 😉


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