Ignorance begets confidence, what is “smart ignorant”

Did you ever observed that smart people (I mean really smart ones not fakers) will never say “I’m sure of…” this or that? Why is that?

Charles Darwin seem to come to a conclusion as he may have said:

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.”

Here is a simple explanation, which describes the phenomena of the knowledge horizon. Imagine that all your knowledge is represented as the interior of a circle and the “unknown” as what lies outside of it. However you can’t “see” outside of the circle, the only thing you see is the “margin” or “perimeter” of the circle. Anyone can “see” that there is “something” they do not know by measuring the “perimeter” of the circle.

Now, here is the funny part. As you increase your knowledge, you have more information to store in your “circle”. To store more you need to increase the diameter of the circle but if you do so you will increase automatically its perimeter. So, the more you know the more “unknown” you may be aware of. Unless you hit “the wall of all there is to know”, which to my current knowledge never happened, you’ll always know that there is potentially more than you do not know than what you know.

Another important clue is your focus on the known or unknown. People who advance their knowledge are the ones which focus on “the whole” circle both the interior of the circle (the known) or the perimeter “the unknown”. Focusing only on the known will end in a stagnation of knowledge process and create “smart ignorant” people (yes, there is such ting).

So, it is impossible to be “humble” and say that “I know it all” at the same time because you really don’t know it all. The focus on knowledge only and avoiding the unknown is also opposite to “humble” and  generates the phenomena I described above, the “smart ignorant” type.

Well, but there are a lot of people asserting that “they are sure” of things. Are they all ignorant? I think not. I guess too many times we are forced by the social pressure to behave as “we know it all” because most of us do not realize this simple principle of the “knowledge horizon” and push for “perfection” and people freak-out and give up and assert over confidence. The other explanation is that when people assert that “I’m sure of..” they actually fail to give a more precise expression “I’m sure of … with this error level” assuming the rest of us already know what they wish to say.

What can we as a group take out of this idea? We need to stop asking people to be “perfect” at all cost as no one is rally perfect. Pushing for perfection we will get in fact more imperfection wrapped in “perfect superficiality” or more blunt put BS.

In the end we are served with BS because we ask for it! (My article Fact Fiction and BS has some explanation on this…)

America is choosing, “Blue Pill” or “Red Pill”, explaining the Trump phenomena

Morpheus: “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill , you stay in wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.Remember all I’m offer you is the truth and nothing more…
Morpheus: The pill you took is a part of a trace program is designed to disrupt your input output carrier program so we can pinpoint your location.”
Neo: “What does that mean?”
Cipher:It means buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas is going bye-bye!

Blue or Red Pill?the_pill

Buckle your sit belt Dorothy, cause Kansas goes by-bye…cipher

The next day…next

I’m a Canadian. Why should I care about who the US citizens will give the power to? Well, maybe because even though I can’t vote for the most powerful person on earth I will (like most of the people living outside US) will definitely be impacted by this choice.

Let me explain what I felt as I was watching this spectacle. Do you remember the aviation disaster with the Germanwings flight 9525 ? When they listened on the cockpit recording, they could hear the screams of the passengers, which become fully aware they only had minutes before their Kansas went bye-bye. I think many of us, non US citizens, though living close to US may have felt that night. The truth is that we really have no idea if this means we are now flying our 9525 yet. I surely hope we didn’t, but how did we get here in the first place? Here is my take on this It started a long time ago with another German artifact, the Berlin wall …

What does the rise of Mr. Trump has to do with the fall of the eastern socialist block? Well, if you go even more back in time, people like Mr. Trump, in the eastern part of the world, found themselves in their own 9525 sort of speaking, when communism took Russia by storm. As a consequence, the western counterparts got scared, very scared and they suddenly realized they needed a wall. Well, not the Berlin kind, but a human one. A wall they could use to defend themselves, if the same phenomena would happen in their own countries. So they “took it easy” and allowed the middle class to grow and flourish. That proved to be a smart decision. The middle class people are usually floating around the center.  They usually do not shallow any blue or red pills. This makes the middle class a formidable wall against extreme behaviors. That was a good plan, as much as it lasted, until that Berlin wall fell…

Well, its all figurative, but all those events are part of a bigger “flow” of events each linked to each other.  When the communist block fell there was no mental counterbalance for power welding people in the west. Their fear subsided and the regular greed started to prevail in their minds. On top of that, two more new phenomena become more important each day, globalization and automation and they destabilized even more the already fragile balance of power between the social classes (the micro balance of power).

Globalization?

For many, this simply means that you loose your well paid job, to create a dozen of stupendously low paid jobs somewhere else on the globe. How is this possible? Because most of the people today have no way to efficiently communicate to other people on the globe. As such “divide and conquer” principles are easy to be used to kill wellness in both places, here and there, all imposed by a “dog eats dog” like market based competition.

On the other hand, if globalization means that all of us are able to freely communicate and exchange information and ideas then globalization would be ideal, yet that is not true so far.

Automation?

When W. Ford started to build his cars he invented the assembly line. He also paid well his employees, well enough that they could afford to buy his cars. This new approach put out of business many of his competitors who still believed in “craftsmanship”. Each car being unique and the soul of the craftsman poured into it, was not enough to compete against highly efficient production process created by Ford. And that lasted for a while. It lasted until the computers and their close relatives robots and automated production lines were invented. And so the Ford’s assembly line looses its humans.

The problem with automation is that every job on earth can be automated.Every single one!.

Don’t lie to yourself hopping it will pass, because it won’t. The fact you can’t imagine how what you do can be done by a machine it does not mean others can’t.

So, if all jobs can be automated, let’s think of the extreme case when indeed all jobs are automated.

This means that no one other than the few very wealthy people will actually have a job and in income, all other will have none.

No job no money, no money no buy. Then why to produce anything in the first place?

More, if no one can buy, money will loose their value, and the wealthy will loose their wealth (monetary) instantly! WTF then? Well simply put, you can’t automate this type of society without killing it.

Now imagine that the business granularity is at the individual level, meaning that you are a business entity and you are SELF SUFFICIENT via computers and automation.

Suddenly the automation turns from a nightmare to a dream!

You have no job, but you don’t care as much time as you can ensure all your wellness by using your own symbiotic machines to live your life anywhere, on Earth on Mars, or in the deep space. More, you are your own master, you are independent you are free! …

So, is Globalization and Automation good or bad?

Well, I’d say they are what we make them to be. But so far in this early stages, we managed to uses them to hurt ourselves…

In one of my previews articles around a year ago I was warning about this phenomena by comparing it to one of the American movies called “The man of the year”. The fresh funny talking showman Mr. Dubbs getting elected president by a fluke of a computer. I don’t think Mr. Trump got elected by a fluke of a computer, but I do believe he got elected by a human fluke.

It was clear to me that the fall of the Easter block plus computers leading to globalization and automation will create the right conditions for more and more people to loose their hope, and when the hope goes all sorts of extremes can creep in.

I think Mr. Trump is a smart and cunning business man who felt that there is an opportunity and he took it.

Mr. Trump said these days “I won” and yes this is what happened fair and square. However my warning, is not to think that this is a regular win. Mr. Trump needs to analyze exactly what this “win” means, as I believe he sits on top of a explosive human situation, which can go off at any moment, endangering many lives in both US and all over the globe.

To summarize:

Mr. Trump got on top of a wave, which probably he and no one else may truly understand. Surfing the wave will be probably be a smarter thing than try to oppose it frontally.

Globalization and Automation can lead to our salvation or our destruction, let’s try to get the right pill this time, and keep in mind that there are many other “pills” of may other colors out there!

I believe in the future, I believe in the human race, I believe in each of us being self sustainable and I believe we can be a better global society.  We only need to stop and ask “why” until asking “why” has no meaning, to be curious to put ourselves in the other people shoes.

Because life is worth living!

Paris I stand with you

Have no Fear!, Fear leads to hate and hate leads to suffering”. My hart goes out for all people hurting now in Paris and all over the world.

We can’t change the past or even the present but we can change the future. Fear is born from lack of quality information and quality information is only born from deep listening and understanding of our peers. Ignorance is not bliss is death. We can’t afford ignorance no more.

candlelight

Pope Francis

Pope Francis. I pray for for him from all my hart to succeed in convincing people that love and inclusiveness “Is The Way”.

Even though, I don’t side with the organized religion for the same reasons I don’t side with any political parties, I’m impressed on the effort Pope Francis makes to straight our twisted current ways, all focussed on short term and small group gains. He does need all the help from God and us all to succeed, because what he fights is almost impossible to fight, to convince people to balance their focus to include more of the long term impact of their actions and and full societal (Earth level) wealth. In this case I see wealth as more (way more) than just money…

pope_francis

Baltimore Burning, Why kids burn down their own community assets?

I’m amazed how some of us are “dazzled” on the burning just happening right now in Baltimore and happened some time ago elsewhere in US.
There are cases when people are willing to burn their own property, but I bet this is not it. This is different, this is deeper, this is something that if it is not well understood by as many of us, will only amplify over time. My guts are telling me that, these kids are burning down what they feel and regard as not being theirs. A society built on “dog eats dog” philosophy emerged from throat cutting business competition can easily breed these types of mentalities (this is not limited to US at all, is universal). At their age (as the video footages shown mostly youths) they are pressed by the crowd effect, to do “special” things and at the moment the “community” is only a far echo in their minds.

BaltimoreBurnig

Interesting enough way back in time on the time of the socialist Romania people used to say “What is everyone’s is no-one’s” and that society was supposed to be all about “community” and “sharing” and it did not work. Lesson learned? Seem not.

Lead by example they say. What example I say?

Let’s Think, or even better, let’s Think different…

Again I believe we have to start asking “why?” and continue the “why?” after each answer it comes in our minds, not stopping before we do this exercise at least 4 levels down. You’ll be surprised what you’ll discover.

What it takes to be a leader…

Today my wife and I watched on YouTube the presentation from Simon Sinek about leadership (see bellow).

I found it very well thought and wanted to share it as it resonate with a lot of my own convictions in this area.

This presentation will help one to discriminate between “boss” or “manager” and Leader.

Funny but one can be a boss without being a leader. This realization surprised me and I was finally able to understand those wired feeling I had in the past when dealing with some of my former bosses.

The Global Mind of the future

Does groups of living entities form minds of their own?
And if so, how do they manifest and interact with us and can they be considered parts of our society?

In the last years, I come to think more and more about social interaction seeking to better understand them and find a better social model.

Few billions cells are the constituents of our own bodies. They generate entities we identify as “mind” or “consciousness”. If we extend this concept then any groups of people will generate “wrapping” minds of their own inheriting the common features of the underlying minds of the group’s individuals.

Those minds seem to behave as new live entities which are born live an die.

You can picture better in your mind this phenomena by watching this funny animation from “Finding Nemo”.
Of course this is an exaggeration we all know but it works like an magnifier of the central idea.

You can also visualize it if you think of the various groups people form, a line at the bus or ticket booth, a demonstration in the street, and probably most notably sport fans.
Those groups form themselves when the conditions are right have a life then sooner or later disassociate themselves and die.

This means that when there are two living entities, they will generate a third entity, a common mind inheriting their common thinking in a fully unconscious process (most of the time).

commonMind

When there are three living entities in a group, we can identify one “mind” of the whole group but as well all the smaller groups in all possible combinations which will account for 4 four new entities in that group. So a group of 3 (three) entities will in fact account for 2^3-1=7 (seven) minds!

globalmind3Minds

Interesting is that those new minds tend to interact as they would be “real people” and introduce new variables in the social systems, hence increasing their complexity. The group mind abilities, are highly dependent on the number and the abilities, of the real minds in the group. For small groups this may account for very little and this explains why usually their existence pass unobserved.

This observation, could give more insight in the “crowd” behaviour, and the new “occupied” movements are interesting places to look for examples of “mind wrappers”.

I found fascinating this video about the crowd behaviour at G20 in Toronto 2012:

This interview hit me with the idea, that maybe, just maybe, at G20/Toronto/2012 what happened between some of the demonstrator groups and the police groups, could have been the result of group mind behaviour and not necessary a well planned and carried set of activities, from both police and citizens of Toronto. I have no way to validate this, but based on the observations I’ve made so far, could a real possibility.

One hint about the groups and their interaction, come to me from the brilliant scene in the movie “A beautiful mind”, where Jon Nash find his inspiration and creates a new break trough in the “Governing dynamics/Game Theory”. In few words his theory can be synthesized:

The best results come when everyone in a group does what’s best for himself and the group”

This theory, is known as the “Nash Equilibrium”, and brought a Nobel Prize to John Nash.

However, if we think of the groups as individuals, then it seem that Adam Smith was also right when he postulated that:

“The best results come when everyone in a group does what’s best for himself”

if we include the group generated minds as supplemental group entities.

This could mean that both Nash and Smith are right. They simply look at the same problem from different angles.

It is also of a paramount importance to understand that “equilibrium” or “balance” does not imply simple equality but a multidimensional balanced relationship. I have personally lived trough a society where “All people are equal”, was promoted each day, but we all learned, that in fact, “some were more equal than others”, and in the end, that group simply vanished in a revolution. My feeling is that when all entities or minds in a group, including the “wrapper minds”, treat each other with respect, and spend time to understand each other, the whole group have a much better chance to survive, and even more important, to thrive .

What would all this have to do with our day by day life? It sounds like a clever contraption of the mind, but now what?

My point is that, we are now stepping in a new era where the information is produced, shared, stored and accessed at an unprecedented rate. Social networks like FaceBook, Tweeter, Tumblr, Google+, etc are part of this new era and when connected with new and powerful ways to mine all this information by using the new ways we call “BigData” (BigDataUniversity) or like IBM’s Watson the group behaviour will be harder and harder to ignore.

This leads to an interesting questions. How do we get aware of group entities and how do we communicate with them? And the last and maybe the most important of them all: Are we aware of our common planetary level generated mind? If we do will it be important for the future to be able to communicate with it?

Maybe the idea exposed in the movie “Avatar” is not so far fetched after all.

Pretty crazy idea? Maybe not…

I’m preparing a number of new articles dedicated to the communication theory and practical use.

Stay tuned …

References:

Other explorations in this domain:

 

Group behaviour with various “mind” capabilities:

School of fish:

School of birds: