We Know Nothing

While we think we do.

Some years ago, before the Internet Era, was pretty common to say “I don’t know”. And it was well accepted. If you wanted to know something you should go to the next library and spend some time trying to locate some publications about the topic you wanted to research about.

You were discovering and learning by exploring. If one of those papers was helpful, then you would get to the references and keep researching, asking the experts. Questioning…

When your investigation was done you felt confident.
You did a good job, you reached a certain level of knowledge.
With certain time working you would become anexpert!
Right now after the development of Internet the process remains the same. Certainly,/everyone is good at something./ But what happens with the gap between experts and laymen? Where lies that line between an expert and a layman?
Ralph Ammer mentioned here :

“We are all clueless most of the time. We are all laymen. (…)

Ralph Almer

“We are all good at something. We are all experts.”

But if we are all experts and laymen at the same time, why we still keep the structure of hierarchical knowledge in shared working environments? Why we keep the definition of experts, stars, masterminds, and some other holy definitions?
But even when everyone is good at something, why we pretend to know things when most of the time we don’t really know?
Most of the people, around 70%, don’t like to think….
The social knowledge feeds itself. There is a lot of common knowledge made by agreement. If one idea goes against the rest of accepted ideas, it will become problematic to be understood and therefore unaccepted.
People know what they read on the newspapers. People repeat what was said by experts, because is an accepted source of information. Most of the people didn’t go and research by themselves. We all rely on other people’s thoughts.

But There is a Problem….

When I think that certain people know, and that people think others know, it creates a vice cycle ending on a clueless point and everyone is indeed a speculator.
Feynmann explained the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something) .

See that bird? It’s a brown-throated thrush, but in Germany it’s called a halzenfugel, and in Chinese they call it a chung ling and even if you know all those names for it, you still know nothing about the bird. You only know something about people; what they call the bird. Now that thrush sings, and teaches its young to fly, and flies so many miles away during the summer across the country, and nobody knows how it finds its way.

R. Feynmann


But do we really want to be right or to preserve the idea that we are right? It’s like no one wants to recognized that the king is naked.
This year Zuckerberg was concerned about misinformation . Well, basically everything nowadays is misinformed.


Again,
Do we really know things?
Do we really read the whole news?


Most of the people scroll endless their news feed or only read the news’ heads. We are living literally on a huge bubble of misleading information where no one is an expert either a laymen. Or both of them at the same time.

“We need to ask more instead consuming blindly what others say. “

We need to start refusing. Or we are doomed.

First published in Medium

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