Fishing From Ignorance

It is hard for me to tell if the connection between the two assigned readings is excessively easy to see and to write about it is simply a writing exercise or if I am in the same position Scudder was in when he said, “In ten minutes I had seen all that could be seen in the fish”(1). Since “In fact there is evidence that our ‘ignorance’ always exceeds our knowledge” (2) I am inclined to believe it is the latter and yet as much as I reread and ponder the stories I gain minimal new insights. I could attempt to draw out the stories but I think writing about it is likely an equivalent use-the-other-side-of-the-brain-to-get-more-information activity, so I’ve tried it — multiple times. I have as of yet to have a “I see how little I saw before”(1) experience which helps to explain why I also haven’t uncovered more ignorance as “acquiring knowledge also illuminates more areas of lack of knowledge”(2). However, it does make me curious that if “the human race has not found a way to empirically measure knowledge”(2) then there is no way for me to be certain whether or not I have acquired the knowledge contained in these readings or if I have simply attributed the facts found within to be all the knowledge that they contain. And as we know, “Facts are stupid things, until brought into connection with some general law.”(1) My only question remains, is the general law to connect these stories with the experience of learning or have I missed the point entirely?

(1) Take This Fish and Look at It by Samuel H. Scudder

(2) Appendix B: The Five Orders of Ignorance in The Laws of Software Practice by Philip G. Armour



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