The map is not the territory.

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posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 10:46 AM
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The menu does not taste like the meal.
Education isn't necessarily a combative force against ignorance (nor, do I believe, we should be fighting 'against' ignorance, but rather work towards higher learning, knowledge and enlightenment). I think that education can sometimes worsen our state of ignorance. Once we have become 'educated' we learn the status quo as the immovable fixture of truth from which all other truths shall stem.
This has not proven to be the case. Not since Aristotle, not since Newton, not since Galileo, not since Einstein. Of course, these great thinkers provided great insight into the nature of the realm in which we live, there is no doubt in my mind of that... but, since the times of Aristotle, who went unquestioned for a long, long time, there has been shift after shift in what is the 'truth'. And, I shall not go into depth about what 'truth' even is, because that is just a philosophical question which has many different answers (and twice as many questions as answers).

So, how can we work towards a better understanding, if there is no pillar of truth, no starting point which is fixed? Education can help us in this regard, self-education especially. Education from a learned master of a craft is another good choice. Education from federal institutions which hire teachers to 'educate' students based off their own limited knowledge of the subject at hand is not a good choice. And let me explain myself, and the topic title...

"The map is not the territory, the menu does not taste like the meal". Teachers in federal institutions (i.e. schools, colleges, universities) often have little to no experience directly with the subjects they teach. For example, somebody teaching you geography (and this is an easy example) cannot with true confidence tell you that, yes, that is exactly (exactly!) what the continent of Africa looks like. It has been shown to the teacher time after time, after time and so on.... until it was accepted as fact by the teacher. The teacher then hands down this knowledge to his students, yes, this is what the continent of Africa looks like.

Without ever having been to Africa, or having personally surveyed the entire shore lines of the continent, how can the teacher be absolutely certain that, yes, this is what the continent of Africa really looks like. The map, is not the territory. If we were to take it upon ourselves, we would find that, actually, Africa looks slightly different (because surveying equipment is never 100% accurate, especially on the scale of a continent), or it might look COMPLETELY different. We cannot know until we do this ourselves. Like wise, if we go into a restaurant, we cannot say "I will know what this item on the menu tastes like by tasting the menu itself". That is of course an absurd assumption, but is basically the basis of the entire system of our current education through federal institutions.

How do we combat it?
I believe that there is a growing need not for theoretical knowledge, although it is always nice to know, but of real hands-on-experience. For example, I know for certain a few things about structural integrity etc, not through having learned it through school (although, I am currently doing exactly that) but through going out and working and building things... and making many mistakes along the way, and having somebody who had already made the same mistakes and more and learned themselves, what makes a structure strong, and what makes it weak. There are things like load calculations etc, which is good to know, but we need more trades people in the world who understand both theory and practice. This is, I believe, the way to a better and brighter future, where we can know some things for at least partially certain (in that, they work, and we know it, though there might and usually does, always exist a better way), and in this way, I propose a system of education which satisfies natural human curiosity and the need for answers to at least SOME questions.

I know only a little bit about freemasonry, but I know that they started out as tradesmen. And I think that the reason for this is self-evident. Knowledge isn't power. Power is knowledge. I might take it a step further to say that Power is knowledge AND action.

Here's to a better future for all of us and the heritage we leave behind,
/_\.G.R.E




posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by 3OGRE3
 

Are you implying that satellite pictures of the continents are fake?



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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But how does one fight ignorance? By learning. One must be receptive to learn.

I think a lot of people go through life on auto pilot, never fully opening them selves.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 10:54 AM
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No. It was just an example I was using to illustrate the point I was trying to make. What I am saying, however, is that unless we do it ourselves, there is no real way of knowing for absolutely certain.

Sorry for the misunderstanding and thank you for reading,
/_\.G.R.E



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:00 AM
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I agree to an extent. But do we really need to light our selves on fire to believe that heat plus fuel plus o2 equals fire?



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:05 AM
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reply to post by 3OGRE3
 

Certainly there are things we must question but at some level we must accept the knowledge that others have shared with us in order to learn things that are beyond an individual's personal reach. Otherwise we'll deny anything that we don't have a personal experience with.

That's the beauty of the human species. One generation can learn many things and allow the next generation to benefit from it. Then that generation uses that knowledge to build on to create more knowledge.
edit on 9/12/2013 by usertwelve because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:07 AM
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"The map is not the territory", this quote comes from Alfred Korzybski, who invented General Semantics, and with this quote he was trying to illustrate how we use words and how they can quickly become illusions. The map is not the territory that it is meant to represent, just like words are not the things that they are meant to represent. Whatever you say about something, it is always wrong or incomplete. Furthermore, you would need a "map of the map", just like you would need to understand and to know the person's experiences to really understand his words.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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I not sure what schools you have experience with and my grade school teachers were generally flakes and idiots, true. A couple stand out as great but out of how many? lol...

At college though? I've not had your experience. My Geography instructor last year works archaeology sites every year and did her best to talk me into volunteering on two dig sites over the summer. My Anthropology instructor this semester is out in Israel every summer on dig sites there. Her specialty is marine (underwater) anthropology and so she's usually at a site on the coast or harbor, as she's shared.

I'd say the requirement for people teaching, especially in higher education, to have been in the field they are teaching, is a major and important one. Perhaps more effort should be made ..but then, again, the school I'm attending won't allow anyone to instruct a course they don't have an degree in if it's above 100 level. I guess it varies from place to place.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:12 AM
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What i am getting from this thread is to take all third person views with a grain of salt. The only truth is that that is experienced?



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 11:13 AM
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reply to post by 3OGRE3
 

I agree with your assessment, there is no destination or completion to the process of education.

We should pursue answers to our questions and then question our answers circularly, there is no such thing as an 'education'. It always surprises me to hear someone say they have a 'good' education.

Great! where can I get one, can you sell me yours?




posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 03:13 PM
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shaneslaughta
But how does one fight ignorance? By learning. One must be receptive to learn.

I think a lot of people go through life on auto pilot, never fully opening them selves.



I tend to agree with what you're saying, but as I am not 'a lot' of people, and only occupy my own being, I can't speak for the majority. It appears to me, to be that way, but I don't know what anyones plan in life is, or how demanding it is on them. And yes, in order to actually learn, we must be receptive to the idea being taught, or learning from experience.


shaneslaughta
I agree to an extent. But do we really need to light our selves on fire to believe that heat plus fuel plus o2 equals fire?



No, but it would be a good idea to light somebody else on fire.... just to make sure



usertwelve
reply to post by 3OGRE3
 

Certainly there are things we must question but at some level we must accept the knowledge that others have shared with us in order to learn things that are beyond an individual's personal reach. Otherwise we'll deny anything that we don't have a personal experience with.

That's the beauty of the human species. One generation can learn many things and allow the next generation to benefit from it. Then that generation uses that knowledge to build on to create more knowledge.
edit on 9/12/2013 by usertwelve because: (no reason given)


I have to agree and disagree. Yes, truly, there is such a vast scope of information available at this time that it seems to us, at this time (or age, or whatever) that the only way to cover this vast array of knowledge is to have specialists. And, certainly, that what you stated is a part of what makes humanity 'beautiful'... but, as somebody at some point stated "Specialization is for insects." As an individual, it is entirely possible, using 100% of our brain, that we could comprehensively comprehend every subject of specialization that is available to us, and still not be completely exhausted of brain power. That is, of course, just my strong opinion and personal world-view and any challenge to it is accepted, but disregarded as unfitting to my understanding of the world. Which is, by the way, mostly wrong, but at the same time, entirely right.


gosseyn
"The map is not the territory", this quote comes from Alfred Korzybski, who invented General Semantics, and with this quote he was trying to illustrate how we use words and how they can quickly become illusions. The map is not the territory that it is meant to represent, just like words are not the things that they are meant to represent. Whatever you say about something, it is always wrong or incomplete. Furthermore, you would need a "map of the map", just like you would need to understand and to know the person's experiences to really understand his words.


Ah, I'm glad I created this topic just to learn that. Good. Thank you, also, for clarifying the subject matter of my OP.


wrabbit2000
I not sure what schools you have experience with and my grade school teachers were generally flakes and idiots, true. A couple stand out as great but out of how many? lol...

At college though? I've not had your experience. My Geography instructor last year works archaeology sites every year and did her best to talk me into volunteering on two dig sites over the summer. My Anthropology instructor this semester is out in Israel every summer on dig sites there. Her specialty is marine (underwater) anthropology and so she's usually at a site on the coast or harbor, as she's shared.

I'd say the requirement for people teaching, especially in higher education, to have been in the field they are teaching, is a major and important one. Perhaps more effort should be made ..but then, again, the school I'm attending won't allow anyone to instruct a course they don't have an degree in if it's above 100 level. I guess it varies from place to place.


I only just started going back to school at college level. I am new to the entire experience, as I have been an apprentice carpenter. That is basically the back-drop of the OP, for those needing a bit of assistance with where I'm coming from. It seems to me that, yes, the teachers have some or a lot of field experience and that they are trying to educate the students to the extent that they can (and are allowed). I cannot speak much more on this as I am only 2 weeks into a Civil Engineering program.



posted on Sep, 12 2013 @ 04:24 PM
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reply to post by 3OGRE3
 



As an individual, it is entirely possible, using 100% of our brain, that we could comprehensively comprehend every subject of specialization that is available to us, and still not be completely exhausted of brain power.

I agree that the brain most certainly could cover all specializations currently known however this would only be possible with an unlimited lifespan. The reason for specialization is due to limited time. With unlimited time we would become something else entirely.
edit on 9/12/2013 by usertwelve because: (no reason given)





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