12/23/2009

Knowledge Space

It seems to me that it is convenient to categorize human knowledge in a 2-d space rather than along a 1-d line or a 0-d choice, This is inspired by Rumsfield quote:

  • "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know."
The two dimentions that I see are the the Quality of the Theories and the Quality of the Results.

  • Known, Knowns -- Example: Classical Physics -- The theory is clear and it leads to exact fully reproducible predictions.
  • Knows, UnKnows -- Example: Evolution -- The theory is clear but leads to statistical or trend predictions.
  • UnKnown, Knows -- Examples: Heurictics -- The theory is ad-hock but leads to tendencies.
  • UnKnown, UnKnowns -- Example: Religion -- The theory is disconnected from the real world and leads to no predictions.
On the other hand, others are moe comfortable with a 1-d classification or a 0-d Judgement.

  • 1-d -- a Theory, area of knowledge, is Generally righter or wronger.
  • 0-d -- a Theory ..., is either Right or Wrong.
Note: This is similar to the way the the Advocates for Self Goverment suggest that we catagorize political leanings. See: 10 question quiz.

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