Monday, 21 May 2007

Adopting incorrect viewpoints leads to knowledge incapable to explain phenomena

     Nature is quite frugal in the amount of information that makes available for us to understand and explain phenomena. Therefore we rely on a limited set of features and conditions pertained in the phenomena, to build knowledge and improve understanding. Moreover, our capacity to discern subtle differences in features and conditions, is limited and this further deteriorates the quality of knowledge gained.

      This continues on when we assign incorrect weights in selected attributes driven by motives other than valid reason. Such action ignores valid attributes, or even distort chosen attributes, misrepresenting the phenomenon. Assumed viewpoints lead to a body of knowledge incapable of explaining the phenomena in question. The knowledge thus produced is incomplete, in its mild form, misleading and unrealistic, to outright harmful, in its most severe form.

     This process affects all knowledge systems, humans develop to explain phenomena. From the physical sciences to the social sciences to the systems of knowledge we develop to explain social and historical phenomena. Phenomena that are driven by human interactions in the scale of civilisations, societies and communities as well as to the scale of markets, organisations, industries, educational establishments, workplaces, right down to an individual's own personal relationships.

     This is more significant if attained knowledge is used to define the behaviour of human individuals in social structures. Assuming the chaotic influence in the evolution of life systems, behaviour so defined is reproduced by self-similarity across scales. Reproduced patterns of behaviour, spread and become dominant. They form a set of automated responses, habits, and provide the rules for human-agent interactions. Human-agent interactions, that are based upon incomplete, misleading, unrealistic or harmful body of knowledge, adversely affect the systems they provide the foundations for. Thus systems, by definition, have a built-in element of self-doubt that erode their integrity from within.

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