EppsNet Archive: Knowledge

To Be a Believer

You probably seem to yourself to be a believer, even if you are a believer in disbelief. But you cannot really believe in anything until you are aware of the process by which you arrived at your position. Before you do this you must be ready to postulate that all your beliefs may be wrong, that what you think to be belief may only be a variety of prejudice caused by your surroundings — including the bequest of your ancestors for whom you may have a sentiment. True belief belongs to the realm of real knowledge. Until you have knowledge, belief is mere coalesced opinions, however it may seem to you. Coalesced opinions serve for ordinary living. Real belief enables higher studies to be made. — Attributed to Ali Read more →

Stuff With No Knowledge

John Muir walked away into the mountains in his old overcoat a crust of bread in his pocket we have no knowledge and so we have stuff and stuff with no knowledge is never enough to get you there it just won’t get you there — Greg Brown, “Two Little Feet” Read more →

The Savvy Clinician

It’s a little hard to read the subtitle on the book cover but — “Savvy”?! I don’t think I want to work with clinicians who consider themselves “savvy.” Being “savvy” sounds like a poor substitute for actually knowing something. I’m not fully informed but I’m “savvy.” I’m “with it.” I’m “in the know.” Read more →

What Are Friends For?

View image | gettyimages.com A young man once approached Socrates and asked to be given knowledge and understanding. Socrates took him down to the seashore, led him into the water and forced his head under the waves. The youth struggled and when his resistance had nearly stopped, Socrates dragged him up on the shore. Later, the youth asked why Socrates had acted as he did. “When you were under the water, what was the one thing you wanted more than anything else?” asked Socrates. “Air,” was the reply. “When you want knowledge and understanding as badly as you wanted air,” said Socrates, “you won’t have to ask anyone to give it to you.” Read more →

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

The notion that we have limited access to the workings of our minds is difficult to accept because, naturally, it is alien to our experience but it is true: You know far less about yourself than you feel you do.   A reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition, because familiarity is not easily distinguished from truth.   It is the consistency of information that matters for a good story, not its completeness. Indeed, you will often find that knowing little makes it easier to fit everything you know into a coherent pattern.   The exaggerated faith in small samples is only one example of a more general illusion — we pay more attention to the content of messages than to information about their reliability, and as a result end up with a view of the world around us that is simpler and more coherent than… Read more →

Teaching Computer Science: Exam Tips from the Pros

When I cover something in a review session or study guide, it’s because I know it’s going to be on the test. There were questions during this morning’s test about the workings of several Java methods, all of which were covered in the review session and the study guide. I can’t answer questions like that during the test so if you have questions about review topics, ask them in advance of test day. Some people seem to think that having an excuse for not knowing something is as good as actually knowing it. “But we hardly spent any time on Topic X in class.” “But we just learned Topic Y yesterday.” Even if either one of those were true, what difference would it make? It’s on the study guide and it’s going to be on the test. Given a choice between knowing something and having an excuse for not knowing… Read more →

People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . . What the 1% Don’t Want Us to Know Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About 20 Terrifying Facts Food Companies Don’t Want You to Know 11 things the Koch brothers don’t want you to know What hospitals don’t want you to know about C-sections 5 Things Hackers Don’t Want You to Know The Sad Secret Successful People Don’t Want You To Know 7 Rip-Offs Corporations and the Wealthy Don’t Want You to Know About Something Most Christians Don’t Want You to Know 11 Secrets Supermarkets Don’t Want You to Know Conspiracies: Five things they don’t want you to know The 25 Shadiest Things Drug Companies Don’t Want You To Know 11 Secrets Pilots Don’t Want You To Know Bottled Water: 10 Shockers “They” Don’t Want You… Read more →

To-Do List

Strive for clarity and distinctness. Ask “What do you mean, and how do you know?” Read more →

The Gettier Problem

What does it mean to say that you “know” something is true? According to traditional philosophical thinking, you can be said to know that some proposition P is true if and only if: P is true. You believe that P is true. You are justified in believing that P is true. These three conditions jointly form the concept of justified true belief (JTB). As an example, let’s examine my claim that I know Paris is the capital of France. Unless an edict to the contrary has come down in the last few minutes, Paris is the capital of France, I believe that Paris is the capital of France, and I’m justified in believing that based on available evidence. So according to the concept of justified true belief, I know that Paris is the capital of France. Gettier Problems Here’s a thought experiment: Let’s say I wake up in the morning,… Read more →

Watch Out for the Gospel of the Times

everything is permitted absolute freedom of movement that is, without leaving the cage 2+2 doesn’t make 4: once it made 4 but today nothing is known in this regard — Nicanor Parra, “Watch Out for the Gospel of the Times” Read more →

Dare to Be Wise

Sapere aude! Have courage to use your own understanding. — Immanuel Kant Read more →

The Best Measure of Truth

If you act as if something is true, you will shortly find out whether it is or isn’t. Any reduction of effort or increase of abundance you enjoy as a consequence of your new belief is the best measure of its truth. — Jim and Michele McCarthy, Software for Your Head Read more →

Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

It is essential not to profess to know, or seem to know, or accept that someone else knows, that which is unknown. Almost without exception, the things that end up coming back to haunt you are things you pretended to understand but didn’t early on. At virtually every stage of even the most successful software projects, there are large numbers of very important things that are unknown. It is acceptable, even mandatory, to clearly articulate your ignorance, so that no one misunderstands the corporate state of unknowingness. If you do not disseminate this “lucid ignorance,” disaster will surely befall you. Human nature is such that we dislike not knowing things that are important to our well being. Since there is so much we don’t know in a software project, the nearly universal tendency among developers and their managers is to gloss over or even deny altogether the extent of their… Read more →

I Don’t Think Anybody Knows

One of the hardest things to convey to students is how often the answer to a question is, “I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody does know.” — NeuroDojo: How can we turn teaching problems into teaching puzzles? Read more →

Not Knowing Things

But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in the mysterious universe without having any purpose, which is the way it really is, as far as I can tell, possibly. It doesn’t frighten me. — Richard P. Feynman Read more →