[plase use the BACK key to return to your previous page]
Knowledge/Understanding (quote by Feynman)
INSERT CARTOON HERE
Gleeba (musing) You know, understanding everything is really easier
than i thougth.
Meepo: What do you mean?!?
Gleeba: I mean, well, ... Did you ever read "The Hitch HIker's
Guide to the Gallaxy."?
Meepo: No. I've heard about it though. There's five of them or
something like that. And they made a movie I heard about.
Gleeba: Well, anyway Douglas Adams. He's the author of the trilogy.
Well, he says that levitation is easy:
All you have to do is throw yourself at the floor
The hard part is is to remember to miss.
Or to look at it another way:
All you have to do is to throw yourself at the floor.
and then forget to hit it.
Same thing; either way.
Just like quantum reality or even a duck.
Meepo: (blink, blink)
Please use the BACK key to return to your previous page;
we applogise for the in-convenience.
How do we "relate" to knowledge
We all start with the familiar; eg, table salt,
light from a lamp, trees, etc.
And a lot of this is sort of "rule of thumb"
or "common knowledge" kind thing - or at the
very least almost useless trivia; ie, where
one fact is almost totally un-related to any
Of course, it is the *systematic* linking of
one bit of information to another that IS what
we usually refer to as "knowledge" as such.
But, then there has been accumulated these vast
bodies of knowledge. How do we realate to these?
How do we move from the familiar to the new,
in such a way that we "find out" things. That
is, we first learn new things, and then we
eventually push the boundaries further....
Of course we have the periodic chart which gives
us *only* the properies of atoms. But, then
we "might" be able to discover that (for example)
the "halides" form diatomic molecules. Then, that
leads us to think of F, Cl, Br as diatomic (and
very reactive) molecules. Similarly, we might be
lead to the idea that Li, Na, K and other alkaline
metals are also very reactive and so, we could
end up with NaCl - table salt and then applying
the basic idea of the periodic table, we get a
whole slew of compounds:
LiF, LiCl, LiBr, ...
NaF, NaCl, NaBr, ...
KF, KCl, KBr, ...
And "sort of" applying the periodic law backwards,
we end up with:
HF, HCl, HBr, ... and their possible properties
The proble arises that to get to "expected" or
"reasonable" properties, behaviours, and such - we
have to have a lot of actual experience with the
physical properties of the compounds.
Regardless, we then have the beginning of HOW we
relate to the knowledge itself. At least in this
Note too, that most of science (well mainly the
physical sciences) follow the "rule" of "least surprise".
Thus, if X is "like" Y, then we expect X and Y to
behave similarly. In reality, this usually follows
from something like:
I know X and it behaves in this conditions this way.
I now know that Y is like X.
Therefore, i expect Y to behave similarly in
Of course there will almost always be a difference.
And then that leads us to:
Y differs from X in this ways
And "therefore" that's why it behaves differently
like this: A property/behaviour.
Thus, we begin to "spread out" the data into a body
of knowledge. And of course, we organise that knowledge
in a certain way. And of course, if we are looking at
different properties or different conditions, then
we organise (or at least view) the knowledge along
For example, we have dear old NaCl:
Put salt on ice and it will help it to melt
during cold weather.
Salt makes foods saltier and thus taste "better".
Salt helps preserve foods.
Thus, salt is placed into the contexts of
Coping with weather conditions
But, note that the chemical properties would be
almost useless in the last two entries. To
"calculate" the way food would taste by
adding a bit of salt to it, would simply
be an almost impossible undertaking.
And of course in terms of food preservation,
the behaviour of bacteria would have to be
mapped into the chemistry of salted foods.
Again, an almost impossible amount of
calculation would be required.
Hence the need for specialised databases.
And of course they "could" be cross indexed.
I recall seeing a book on healthy eating that
actually quoted the chemical properties of
Na and Cl (as elements) as part of the argument
against using salt in foods. Hmmmm.