Intellectual understanding

How could people of intellectual revolutionary times possibly deal with these revolutionary ideas and discoveries of the intellectuals such of Darwin and Copernicus?

[ 31/Mar/21 ]

One needs to think about the idea of ideas.

What is it to model something?

What does evolution select for, or punish harshly?

In a high stress predator prey relationship, it is usually the slowest individual to react that gets eaten. Thus brains that make quick assessments tend to be selected over ones that make more accurate assessments but take longer to do so.

So in terms of modeling systems, we would expect the simplest one to be highly selected for by evolution.

The simplest possible modeling system is a binary, with only two possible truth states (True/False). Most people operate from this simplest of all possible paradigms of understanding most of the time.

If one is going to explore other ways of understanding than that which one has at present, then one must be able to suspend the notion of truth, and adopt some form of possibility – something like – this may or may not be more accurate, I will try it out for some period of time, and then assess the sorts of outcomes delivered by this way of thinking about things, make some useful measure, and then assess that measure against the measure I made using the old way.

When one starts to do that across all dimensions of understanding, strategy, systems, and paradigms of truth values, then one starts to view the world and everything in it very differently than one did when they started from the simple “True/False” system that all people necessarily start with.

The more dimensions and domains one applies this practice to, the more easily one is able to explore and test new types of ideas, and to assess the utility of those ideas in particular sorts of contexts.

Some contexts demand rapid decisions. Complex models are not going to be useful in those contexts – some sort of simplified heuristic (something close enough to be useful in context) will be required.

Where one has the luxury of greater security and time, then one can explore more complex sets of constructs and schema.

Once one has spent a few decades in such enquiries, even the notion of “Truth” starts to be seen as a simplistic heuristic that can be very useful in some contexts, and very dangerous in other ones.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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