We Don’t Know that We Don’t Know

I’m reblogging Bill Jones’ post ‘We Don’t Know that We Don’t Know’, that he wrote as an offshoot to my Daily Flannel post from yesterday on the subject of Dark Matter.

The following was my response:

“It was a funny show wasn’t it? You get why I found it so amusing. It made me laugh not because I felt like a smart arse having known all along that all truth is a fiction, but because what that implies is that anything is possible, and that thought makes me giggle like the idiot savant that I am. You see, that’s the bit that everybody misses when you tell them, or they happen to realise, that there is no such thing as truth. Most people resort to panic and feelings of unease as if their whole world has suddenly ground to a halt and stopped having any meaning.

“What, are you telling me that everything is a lie?”, they’ll ask.

“No, you bunch of nincompoops…well yes…but it doesn’t mean that what you know is of any less value, and cannot be directly applied to your daily lives as a perfectly reasonable working model. Don’t confuse notions of truth with value, two different things.” I would tell them.

Then I would continue to point out that what it really means is that there are no restrictions to creativity, that the world and imagination so full of all their unknowable stuff opens up opportunities for exploration and innovation the likes of which really don’t need to be waited out by empirical mediocrity, which tends to be somewhat tardy on the uptake as it is. I mean, what is the point of all this imperical data if at the end of it, it amounts to proving nothing? The world is your oyster as they say. What you think, goes. Any possible theory that you can come up with is just as salient and workable given the right impetus to find out.

“Ah, but that’s dangerous talk.” They might say.

“Tsk! Only if you intend to be dangerous with it. If it breaks a few tired, outworn and oppressive rules in the process, then what’s wrong with that? There will always be advantages and disadvantages to all potential outcomes. And the last time I looked, that a certain duality in our reality exists seems to be a thing that both I and the scientists happen to agree on. Matter versus Dark Matter for example. Night and day, left and right n’all that. Maybe it’s just a human disposition? Still, the point is”, I would conclude, “that anything you can conceive of in your marvellous mind (wherever that is exactly) is perfectly acceptable, and quite possible given the current odds as proposed by the boffins, and by the simple knowledge that, as Bill quite rightly says: you can only know what you don’t know.”

There.”

Raw, Naked Art

Not surprisingly, if you know either of us, but Maria and I spend a great deal of time exchanging ideas. In one of her latest blog posts, she wrote about a recent BBC, Horizon broadcast entitled “Is Everything We Know About the Universe Wrong?” (Spoiler Alert: Yes.) If you haven’t seen the 1-hour video, or her review, check out Maria’s blog linked above.

In short, she laughs along, as did I, at cosmologists’ dying love declarations regarding their Universal Theory, which has recently been torn to shreds, mainly because none of the data fits the model. Now, knowledge being what it is, our Sciencers are undeterred, and keep tweaking their maths by adding things like “ΘKμ + (1-β), where ∃=∂” which is boffin-speak for “there exists something different, but we don’t know what the heck it is.”

Basically, if you add enough Greek symbols people won’t notice that your…

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