Knowledge from extreme not knowing​




I am motivated to seek what we don't know, i.e., ignorance. I just read of a course at Columbia University in the City of New York, a new book Ignorance, that describe how ignorance drives new forms of knowledge. MF's thesis is worth a deeper look.



Let me know what you think. How has not knowing and ignorance driven you to generate new insights?


The dramatic category called Ignorance may have subtle implications for qualitative research, creative generation, and deeper understanding of the archetypes in relationship to branding, motivations, and therapeutic breakthrough. It most certainly has implications for the area of synchronicity, although this has not yet emerged in my thinking or showed itself to my conscious mind. When these do -- most likely in forms of synchronous occurrences -- I shall report back. But, the fact that I am posting on ignorance and its relationship to new knowledge would imply that insight on the causality of new forms of knowledge is imminent... or immanent.


These images illustrate the relationship of the drive for new forms of knowledge starting with the depths of the unconscious and ignorance. Some are from Jung's Red Book; others are from mythopoetic symbols; another is from nature. The center moon shape on the barge (Jung) implies that what we assume is ignorance is actually cradled by the drives for new knowledge. In the second image, the Fool represents the place of unknowing, a pathway from Kether-Crown to Chokmah-Wisdom on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. The third is a sea urchin deep in the ocean.


Below are reviews on MF's Ignorance and upcoming lecture at Columbia University




The following comes from an announcement from Columbia University.


"Knowledge is a big subject, says Stuart Firestein, but ignorance is a bigger one. And it is ignorance--not knowledge--that is the true engine of science.


"Most of us have a false impression of science as a surefire, deliberate, step-by-step method for finding things out and getting things done. In fact, says Firestein, more often than not, science is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. The process is more hit-or-miss than you might imagine, with much stumbling and groping after phantoms. But it is exactly this "not knowing," this puzzling over thorny questions or inexplicable data, that gets researchers into the lab early and keeps them there late, the thing that propels them, the very driving force of science. Firestein shows how scientists use ignorance to program their work, to identify what should be done, what the next steps are, and where they should concentrate their energies. And he includes a catalog of how scientists use ignorance, consciously or unconsciously--a remarkable range of approaches that includes looking for connections to other research, revisiting apparently settled questions, using small questions to get at big ones, and tackling a problem simply out of curiosity. The book concludes with four case histories--in cognitive psychology, theoretical physics, astronomy, and neuroscience--that provide a feel for the nuts and bolts of ignorance, the day-to-day battle that goes on in scientific laboratories and in scientific minds with questions that range from the quotidian to the profound.


"Turning the conventional idea about science on its head, Ignorance opens a new window on the true nature of research. Ignorance is a must-read for anyone curious about science.



The book argues that ignorance, not knowledge, is what drives science

The book provides a fascinating inside-view of the way every-day science is actually done

The book features intriguing case histories of how individual scientists use ignorance to direct their research


"...Innovative look at ignorance . . .remember that when a sphere becomes bigger, the surface area the sphere of scientific knowledge increases, so does the surface area of the unknown...interface is where we claim true and objective progress."--MS for Nature

" ...Reminds us that although we are... given the impression our world contains an endless amount of knowledge, most of that is inaccessible to is the absence of knowledge that should concern us. embrace your ignorance...badge of honor." -- Science