Feb 11, 2011


In the grand scheme of things, i don't quite know anything at all that is more salient about our individual existences than the infinite landscape of ignorance that we trudge every moment of life, and manage only to map a laughably finite portion of it. The more one knows... the more one knows how much massively more one does not know. 

In a crude analogy for the quantitatively oriented, one might say that for every unit of even intelligent existence there is always more, much many more, units of ignorance than units of any other phenomenon. Thus my point about ignorance being the most salient phenomena of individual existence. 

In an ironic sort of way then.. the superiority of one's intellect is the extent, intent and clarity of the awareness of one's own ignorance. 

Anyhow, the point of the post is to share (the web link is at the end of the post) a remarkable set of 164 responses to the question "WHAT SCIENTIFIC CONCEPT WOULD IMPROVE EVERYBODY'S COGNITIVE TOOLKIT?". 

The respondents are perhaps the most gifted, accomplished and celebrated public intellectuals of the contemporary times who've dedicated their lives to re-claim, as much as possible, knowledge from the landscape of collective ignorance....and have done so to prodigious limits. The question was posed by the online magazine EDGE (it was suggested by Steven Pinker). The responses are cataloged in 17 web-pages of profound pleasure. In my opinion, the best use to put these pages to, is to make the content therein the starting point of assiduous exploration beyond the essay itself. (I have been doing exactly that since a month). 

I finished reading all 164 responses today... and I experienced what i can only describe as a trivial sense of happiness followed by a profound bout of sadness ... and subsumed ultimately by a pragmatic sort of satisfaction. READ IT.. and be wiser of your ignorance. 

**(Pardon the pessimistic tenor of this post... I'm just a tad benumbed and psyched right now)**

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