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LINKS   Epistemology  .  Knowledge  .  Descartes Discourse on Method  .  Standford Encyl of Phil. Knowledge

"...that of knowing totally must be his whose knowledge forms a systematic whole."
-Aristotle, Metaphysics

How we know: How we half-know

Knowledge and Epistemology (the theory of knowledge) half-blindly theorize of it--drunk in a lazy catnap with eyes half shut, at a philosophy frat party only half dedicated to the subject.  We are ignorant of the ingredient for its own existence: the inverted knowledge some inverse life must feel that without which no 'knowledge' would be possible.  (Hence when we use this term we will imply we are always saying 'half-knowledge').  This is not to say that what we generally think of as knowledge when we say “I know that p” is a correct and true way of understanding and perceiving the world, balanced by a totally incorrect inverse feeling and perception, but rather that both perception and inverse perception are simply different points of view in perceiving what exists or anti-exists.  (What I elsewhere call 'fractal angles'--or frangles--when seen from a Fractal point of view).

All we can ever hope for is to half-know, even in knowledge of knowledge.   And since 'knowing' is half the story--to know an orange exists (perhaps inseparably intertwined with the metaphysics of feeling an orange exists)--is to be ignorant of the blue un-orange.  Paradoxically, even to know of both is to be ignorant of what it is to un-know both, a catch-22 ad infinitum, like the vine trap that ensnare our young Harry Potter trio and pull tighter the more they struggle.  Like the continuously dense Ron who cannot simply relax--the solution which frees them--perhaps the theory of Knowledge struggles endlessly in its own workings.  Perhaps to truly know is to nothingness well--to know O/S Zero.  That is the root of Symmetric Being--while shooting itself in the wrong foot with the wrong pistol.


Take the proposition “I know that something exists, rather than nothing.”  This “knowledge” is not pure but very biased.  I’m of the opinion that since something or other is conscious or aware, that this is a positive addition to nothingness, or zero.  If I see a rock, I think, in what might have remained nothingness, there is at least plus one rock in existence.  Since I’m thinking, I think, there is at least plus one being, me, instead of nothing.  This is a positive tear in one direction, zero plus something, balanced by the anti-tear in the other direction without which my “knowledge” would not be possible.  My inverse consciousness thinks and is aware more of negativities from nothingness; its perception of the anti-rock is that something negative has occurred.  That not just nothing exists, but less than nothing has happened.  Minus one anti-rock.


Who is to say which perception is more correct, my view that something positive has happened, an addition, something vs nothing, the positive existing objects and people in my world, or the inverse perception which supports those beliefs, that anything that happens is a subtraction; anti-something or un-something vs. nothing.  If anything is close to perfect knowledge, then nothingness itself before any bias is made one way or the other is close to that perfection.  Once I have a thought, a tear in one direction, my thought is supported by some inverse thought, so perhaps both take us away from pure truth.


I can’t do anything without tearing a bias in one direction.  I can’t think of the number 4 without creating a positive tear, plus 4 things; an idea that I can only perceive because something thinks anti-4, or roughly, negative 4, a tear in the opposite direction.  I don’t know that there are four rocks; I feel that there are four rocks.  Could it be truer that there exist negative 4 rocks to my inverse?  To combine the two, we might say that there are actually zero rocks, that the rocks and anti-rocks cancel each other out, and that the truth of the matter is there really is nothing, that nothing has in fact happened.  If I wanted to purify my belief that something has happened rather than nothing, I could classify the rocks and anti-rocks to all be somethings, because indeed they’re all in fact nouns, that in fact eight things have happened, balanced by the even more opposed point of view that all eight things are actually anti-things, that negative eight anti-things have anti-happened.


To think anything requires an inverse thought.  Even if I try to be neutral and state “nothing has happened” is to feel a thought which requires an anti-thought and anti-feeling to be aware of it.  In stating anything I think is a truth, I need to utilize a subject and verb, words which positively exist, which mean something, are defined by people which exists, and whose use relays some information about a reality which exists, rather than un-proposing un-information about some unreality to un-people.  Even to write the proposition down requires black words on white paper, or white chalk on a blackboard, balance by respective inverse colors in both cases.


We might say that instead of knowing p, which is a little egotistical since my perception of p is just a point of view, that we feel p.  I feel a form or thing, an apple, a positive addition to nothing,  balanced by anti-tear and anti-feeling.  I feel that 2 + 2 is 4, balanced by anti-feeling that anti-2 anti-plus anti-2 anti-is anti-4.  Everything I feel is half the story.  A solid blue pen is a feeling that has been torn from nothing, balanced by someone’s perception of an orange anti-pen.  There are several points of view as to our knowledge or feeling of what has happened here.  We might say that two things have been created, plus two things, or no things since they could cancel each other out, or perhaps one positive and one negative, or perhaps both things are a subtraction from nothing, subtracting from each other, and in that point of view, my knowledge that the pen positively exists is completely wrong.


To unify these points of view and give them common ground, we might consider the absolute value of the tear in either direction. The absolute value of a number is the distance the number is from 0.  The absolute value of 5 and –5 are both 5.  So we might say that both points of view have roughly the same idea; that if something exists or anti-exists, at least something has happened in either direction.  Whether it’s the idea of an addition in one direction and a subtraction in the other, or that two additions (or two subtractions) have happened, or even the idea that nothing at all has happened since the thing and anti-thing cancel each other out, we still have some common ground in all these cases.  (Note that very strictly speaking, even the idea of an addition or subtraction or a non-event are all nouns and hence strictly somethings; we can never achieve true common ground unless we’re not talking or thinking or proposing anything at all, because to think anything necessarily creates some sort of conflict).


So from one point of view, we have two opposites, and from another, a similar thing has occurred: distance in some way from zero, or nothing.  We need this idea of common ground if we are to maintain any faith that our knowledge has any absolute value, that we are in any way correct in thinking we know a fact or idea.  Otherwise we have a war with two sides, both of which refuse to cooperate; why should I be right in thinking I know there exists the blue pen, when the inverse point of view has equal weight.


There is also the issue of the magnitude to which I know or feel something, or propose something.  I can scream whatever thing I think I know or feel at the top of my lungs, I can paint it in blood on the wall or carve it in fire in the heavens, or I can whisper my truth into thin air barely audibly and then forget I ever said anything.  The greater the extent I feel or know my tear in one direction, the greater my inverse must know or feel her anti-tear.  Paradoxically, the greater the magnitude I feel or believe something, from one point of view, the further I am from the original truth and balance of nothingness.  To feel or know something to a stronger level is to have the opposite tear pull more strongly as well; and then we need the idea of absolute value even more if we are to say that both sides have common ground and our knowledge is true in any absolute way.


We feel that we have whole fields of knowledge, that we’ve accumulated a certain magnitude of something positive worth knowing, yet every field of thought is simply a point of view.  The scientific observation of the functioning of some atom is a system of thought balanced by anti-functioning.  Some scientific system might be proved wrong or abandoned, as it was just a haphazard bunch of thoughts to begin with, nothing pure or definite or absolute.  We make observations about human behavior and collect the field of psychology, yet these observations are balanced by anti-observations of anti-humans, forming an absolute opposing anti-school of thought.


I’m not trying to neutralize all knowledge; I’m just attempting to clarify what it is (which paradoxically can only happen when my inverse makes it more anti-clear what anti-knowledge is, tugging even more in the other direction).  Instead of an awareness of what ultimately is, “knowing” is really an extended feeling or bias surrounding the subjects or issues in question.  If I know or feel that Fido exists, I have a feeling of a being tearing in one direction, and my excess feelings of how Fido functions is my “knowledge” of Fido; that Fido eats food is a feeling of how this Fido torn in one direction from nothing functions and what happens with him, balanced by whatever perception my anti-self has that anti-eating is.



What there is to know, to half-know


Let us examine what is knowable and the process of attaining that knowledge or feeling, and the extent to which we can know.  I might say that any studyable field of knowledge is knowable.  That math and algebra and calculus are knowable.  That science or music or art or any studyable field are knowable.  That people are knowable.  But what is the process of accumulating these feelings or knowledge -- this point of view of one angle of nothing tearing itself apart – and what is the full extent to which we can “know”?


Consider a caveman Thog who must have some counterpart “gohT”.  Thog feels that he has some sort of body, a tear in one direction, balanced by anti-body of gohT, inverse senses, ideas, etc.  For Thog to know math requires gohT to inversely know math.  Thog looks at five rocks, five positive tears, and is somewhat aware of the feeling “five”, requiring anti-five inverse tears.  Thog might be vaguely aware of five, or extremely aware of five (i.e. five mountains instead of rocks, or he might be more aware of five while he’s counting the rocks, or only mildly aware; seeing the rocks out of the corner of his eye and barely aware that there are five of them), but in general he has some level of this number five.


This simple mathematical thought is the beginning of mathematical knowledge.  Basic numbers are roughly the extent of which Thog knows the field of math.  Thog can go his whole life and not be aware of calculus, not feel tears of calculus-level complexity.  Hence this mathematical knowledge as with all knowledge is haphazard; we have no claim to absolute truth.  It is by chance that Thog is aware and aware of specifically math, and it’s this chance that determines the extent of his mathematical knowledge.


From this example, clearly knowledge is infinitely extendable.  Surely if Thog knows five, and some human knows calculus, then some other being knows complex math we haven’t achieved yet, and surely this must extend to infinity, some being by chance being aware of a much more complex level of math.  Hence to the question of what extent we can know, I say that ultimate knowledge is unknowable by a single being, but all life collectively, by chance, is at some point aware of greater and greater complexity.  If I can think 3, 3.14, 3.1415926, requiring anti-math tears from my anti-self, then surely at some point I could be aware of any extent of the digits of pi, and to any magnitude (screaming the digits, or whispering them), but I could never feel all its infinite digits.


This math example of course extends to everything knowable.  Every studyable field of knowledge, which by chance a person or society might be aware of singularly or collectively, balanced by the inverse feeling, the opposite angle to the whole thing, which by absolute value is sort of the same thing.  Science, music, art, philosophy, all are knowable by the same principle as Thog’s knowing five.  The learning of such a body of knowledge would be a pattern by chance of increasing complexity or an increasing stream of data, balanced by the decreasing anti-knowledge.  We learn arithmetic, then algebra, then calculus, while our anti-self forgets their inverse counterparts.  Or we accumulate different facts about history, not increasing in complexity but increasing in level of information, etc. 


As to the purpose or point of knowing any of this, a little sad to me is the further idea that perhaps knowledge does nothing for us anyway.  Consider the knowledge (and feelings) of someone in a completely neutral emotional state.  Is there a purpose to knowing anything--or for that matter existing--if we do so in a state that has the same ultimate result in not existing or knowing at all?  If we are to pulse back and forth between love and strife forever--does the knowledge that this is occuring matter?  Perhaps even knowledge of the next moment is only relevant by whether we fear it or anticipate it.  Maybe nNone of it is necessary, neither do we have any absolute claim to it or its ultimate extensions.  Maybe it’s just a pastime--perhaps even what we feel is irrelevant--something to occupy our consciousness because since and when we’re aware at all, we must be aware of something.  As I put in the ethics, what is the difference between the cheesecake of He-man and Skeletor?

And as to knowing the future and past, and indeed anything at all, even this could be completely incorrect, as Descartes points out, leaving us half-knowing the entire wrong thing to begin with.  Consider a man walking a path in a dream about to wake up,
then another in the same instance who will continue walking the path, and yet another inside a virtual reality about to hit game over: Sorry, you died by a rabid cheetah lurking in the forest that you didn't know was there.  Each of these men feels they know the same thing, but two are wrong.  Indeed, a single moment of consciousness--including the feeling of knowledge--is simply a feeling torn from the un-feeling.  We could even be stuck in this single feeling for all eternity like a statue, how we can any claim whatsoever that this feeling has anything to do with what's really going on?

Given all the infinite scenarios, perhaps what we think is--or will happen--is only infinitesimally likely.  Or maybe we can give this unlikely knowledge purpose by considering it's intrinsic worth.  For that moment, whatever else will happen, we are walking down that path.  And our association with the future walking could be association with future walking, simply infinitely delayed.  Then of course we may 'know' that a whole plethora of things could happen.  If I could pull a thousand books off the library shelves and don't know which I'll choose, perhaps this is truer to the idea of not knowing whether our feeling is true or false.

Given our ability to only half-know, and our lack of even half-knowing the full extension of what we know, and finally having no idea how even any of that is even infinitesimally correct, then perhaps knowledge of all of these shortcomings themselves--doubting all we know and knowing anything could happen--knowing chaos--is finally absolute belief of where and what we are.