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Greater Meaning of Knowledge

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A Theory Of Knowledge, And How It Could Save The World By Dave Pollard

In human activities, we now get almost all of our knowledge second-hand, through books, newspapers, television and online, and its relative lack of credibility causes us to develop and assign a trust ‘rating’ to different sources, based on how often, in our experience and that of others we trust, that report has turned out to be accurate or useful. A blogroll is one manifestation of that need to rate the trust-worthiness of second-hand sources of knowledge.

Why do we learn? The squirrel learns in order to survive — by direct participation at first in play and then, often by observing its parents, in gathering food, building a nest etc. The squirrel draws as well on instinctive knowledge, which is coded in its DNA as an evolutionary advantage, which ‘teaches’ it the knowledge of its ancestors, for example to ‘freeze’ when it senses a predator species, which is often more effective than fleeing predators whose eyesight is attuned to motion, more than shape. That instinctive knowledge also tells it at what point, as the predator approaches, to flee, based on its ancestors’ cumulative learnings of that point at which the probability of evasion through flight begins to exceed the probability of non-detection by the predator. Instinctive knowledge doesn’t need to be learned, so it doesn’t appear on fig.1 above. We’re born with it.

Written by anol

August 31st, 2004 at 11:58 pm

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