The blog problems continue from a technical standpoint, so screw it. I’ve changed the theme while I try to fix it, because I’m tired of not writing. So! Pardon the mess and read the words if you’re still feeling charitable towards me.
I’ve been in some conversations about knowledge recently. The fantastic book Plato At The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away is partially to blame.
Here is the sum total of how I think about knowledge right now:
Knowing where to find an answer can feel like knowing the answer. Being able to look up the definition of a word–or all words–on your phone can feel like knowing the meaning of that word, or words.
It’s not the same thing. Does this matter? It matters to me.
Finding it doesn’t mean you know how to use it. It’s not the same thing as internalizing a concept that you can then use to weigh your actions against.
My greatest fear is living as if I know enough. As if I’ve read enough, or asked enough questions. As if I might already have learned the most important things.
The fact that I can look up the answers to any questions is, paradoxically, sometimes the very thing that keeps me from asking questions. That might not make sense if you haven’t experienced it, but it’s real for me, and it always leads to a less satisfying mental life.
There is a joy in figuring things out. When thumb typing questions into a search engine is the default, something precious is lost.