What don’t we know and aren’t looking for?
One of the things concerning me in writing here is if I’m falling into the trap of reinforcing my beliefs without considering the full gamut of possibilities. It’s just too easy to stay within the range of a topic without looking at any fringe possibilities.
In days past how could I possibly imagine the Earth revolving around the Sun when everyday all I ever see from experience and thought is the Sun rising and setting, obviously going around the Earth. It’s not until I consider odd, transient and subtle effects like the seasons and movement of the stars and planets that I would start to doubt the original assumption. Sadly most of us reinforce our prejudices without looking at the alternative possibilities, especially if they contradict our beliefs and put risk to our opinions.
In a rather lengthy but well put post in Letters to Atarasia Arjuna says…
… the mathematician becomes more mathematically minded and sees arithmetical insights everywhere, and so it is with the religious minded, the empiricist, or the aestheticist.
As a result we are susceptible to being trapped by our favourite framework biases, which although plastic, as they are based upon malleable neural networks, acts as though they are not because the output of the system creates a magnifying and reconfirming feedback loop between observations and conclusion…
…The result is a “hardened” or “over-specialised” neural system and the consequence for the agent is a deeper commitment to the reified ontology
We can all be accused of bias in our speciality.
The secret to understanding the reality of any situation is to consider every possibility without favour until the truth surfaces (and even then maintain a little doubt). Often this is difficult as it challenges long-held beliefs and the accompanying egos and cultural norms. Sometimes it’s simply a concept so far away from what we’re used to that it’s hard to imagine the possibility of it’s existence.
We’ve all been rattled by a new understanding which has changed our world view. It’s best to remember this could apply to everything in our life and looking for it helps to reveal the truth.
Many thanks to Nicolaus Copernicus. You got it right buddy despite what seemed obvious.