You Don’t What You Don’t Know

There are some people in this world who are just not opened to the possibility that they don’t know everything about everything. It’s interesting to note that mentality was one of the primary causes of “Early Middle Ages”, otherwise known a the “Dark Ages” between the years 500-1000. Basically, the church, which pretty much ruled the world after the fall of the Roman Empire, declared that everything God intends us to know has already been learned. This basically halted all scientific exploration as well as philosophical studies for a five hundred year period. Yeah, the church was that powerful!

Getting back to today’s “I already know everything” people, global warming can’t be true because they don’t believe it. In other words, if something is too complicated then it’s fake. They too often look for that single “silver bullet” that will cure everything. Everything that can’t be solved with gut feeling or a silver bullet just isn’t solvable to them.

Even if they are not formally educated on the subject they consider themselves to be “street smart” and that is all that matters to them. Many of this category likely make up the MAGA base.

In reality, the more knowledgeable you are the more you realize how much you don’t know. That brings to mind something I learned in my only philosophy course in college. The graphic below illustrates the concept.

The Extent of Knowledge

Just think of the box as the extent of knowledge available to you. The top left corner is what you know. The little box inside that box are the things you think you know but aren’t true. Then comes the bigger box of what you know you don’t know. And finally, there is what you don’t even know that you don’t know. Don’t think of the above as being to scale. In reality, the “what you don’t know you don’t know” will fill a football stadium!

Since I found so many neat illustrations I will leave this post with a few of them.

Getting back to the guy who thinks he is an expert on everything (you know who I am talking about), we must realize that he actually doesn’t know much of anything at all and a big majority of what he thinks he knows is wrong. But, the sad part of all of this is that those MAGA followers are even worse than he is, as they unquestionably believe him!

The Ultimate Freedom

This sounds like a pretty grandiose title, I hope the post lives up to it. 🙂 I’m going to clue you in on what I found the ultimate freedom to be. It took me almost seven decades to find it. At first, it seemed more like a prison than freedom but I have found that misconceived view to be the case in more circumstances than I care to remember.

The ultimate freedom was cloaked in darkness when I first came upon it. It just didn’t look like freedom at first glance. Ok, the wait is over I will now tell you what the ultimate freedom is. Ultimate freedom is when you no longer have to do something just to create money.

Now I guess I have to explain my personal circumstances in order to support my dark pre-story.

I left the corporate world at fifty-five. After I got my thirty years in and was eligible for a full pension, my corporate division was sold to a Chinese company. We were told that nothing would change, but of course, within six months massive layoffs started. Within a year 95% were gone, including me.

All my life I had lived pretty frugally so I had enough resources along with the fixed pension and future social security payments to be able to live without any additional income. But, as is often the case, I refused to understand what that freedom could give me. It would be several years later before I fully realized what was in front of me.

When I finally went into the full retirement mode six years after leaving the corporate world, the idea of having total control of my time absolutely scared me. The main reason for that is that I didn’t do the work required to really appreciate what I had. Instead, I languished around as pretty much a couch potato for a couple of years feeling sorry for myself and the self-imposed boredom that followed.

Finally, I got it through my head to actually use this ultimate freedom. I finally started doing some things that I had only dreamed about up to then. One was to be a frequent volunteer at a local soup kitchen. Another was to start a blog about my view of the world. I had always enjoyed writing and now I could do whatever I wanted with that skill. Other things would eventually fall in place, but it was not until a few months ago that I decided to try and take my ultimate freedom to a whole other level.

I actually spent the time thinking and dreaming of what I could now do that wasn’t really possible before. That brought up a lot of hidden, or maybe unrealized goals that need to be further pursued. Finally, when 2019 dawned I decided to bring up yet another blog, this one dedicated to creativity. I am now about forty-seven days into this year-long project of becoming a more creative person. If this sort of thing appeals to you, I would like to invite you to come along on my journey. I think we can both learn if we do this together. Click on the CrackingCreativity logo in the right column here to join the fun.

How about you, what is your definition of Ultimate Freedom?

About Fear

I love the banner for today’s post. Yeah, the more you know the less you fear and the more you realize that fear gets you nowhere, except for the case when you might be standing in the middle of a road and watching a Mack truck heading down on you. (ha).

It seems that “fear” has become our national pastime. Everywhere you look people are trying to convince you that bad guys are invading our country when the facts say otherwise. The current Oval Office occupant would have you believe that bad guys are charging across our borders with the intent of raping all our young girls. But, if you study the facts you will know that not to be the case. In fact, illegal border crossings are drastically lower than even ten years ago, and the vast majority of them are women with children trying to escape the carnage of their country of birth. The more you know, the less you fear.

All you have to do to be convinced that we are a country full of fear is to look at a typical day’s TV shows. It seems that NCIS-LA, for example, kills at least a dozen terrorist every week. That show, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. Go to Netflix and count all the movies about terrorism and bad guys! I guess fear of terrorists is a pretty profitable staple for the movie and TV media and that fact alone could make someone paranoid. But, study how many foreign terrorists have invaded since 9/11 and you will find that the local variety of terrorists far far outnumber the ones who invade our country.

Two of my ten pillars are about learning the truth and questioning everything. Don’t just take for granted what you see in front of you or especially what some habitually lying person who doesn’t deserve an ounce of your trust tells you to believe. If you believe the facts instead of liars you will see there is less to fear than you fear.

Fear is kinda like hate, it can consume you if you let it. Shed that unnecessary fear and see more joyful things that will replace it. Turn off that TV once in a while and enjoy the other 99.9% of life around you.

The more you know, the less you fear.

The History of Autism

I know the title above is rather ambitious for a single blog post, but I do want to give you an idea of how it came about and how some of the statistics might be deceiving. I have been studying this topic for a few weeks now and thought I knew enough to put out a continuous series of posts on the subject, but as my snippet on This N’ That Sunday mentioned I just didn’t know how much I didn’t know. So, I am going to put out bits and pieces of what I have been learning as I go along. After all, a blog is not supposed to be novel length but instead snippet of info.

To the layman, it seems that “Autism” just came on the scene in the late 1980s. Before that is was almost unknown by the general public. In reality, the term itself was coined in 1908  to describe a subset of schizophrenic patients who were especially withdrawn and self-absorbed.

Hans Asperger brought it to the forefront in the field of psychiatry in 1944 when he describes a “milder” form of autism now known as Asperger’s Syndrome. The cases he reported were all boys who were highly intelligent but had trouble with social interactions and sometimes specific obsessive interests.

After World War II there was a lot of psychoanalytic work done on autism where researchers looked solely at the negative impact on life experiences.  At that time Autism was not considered biological or genetic. In 1980 “Infantile autism” is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for the first time; the condition is also officially separated from childhood schizophrenia.

It was not until 1988 when the movie Rain Man is released which stars Dustin Hoffman as an autistic savant that Autism became widely known to the general public. At that time Asperger’s Syndrome was not included in the DSM category.

Finally, in 2013, The DSM-5 folds all subcategories of the condition into one umbrella diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Asperger’s Syndrome is no longer considered a separate condition. I have some strong feelings about that but I will leave them to another post. ASD is defined by two categories: 1) Impaired social communication and/or interaction. 2) Restricted and/or repetitive behaviors.

Some say folding Asperger’s into the DSM category was a mistake since it is significantly different when it comes to life experiences from much of the rest of the autism spectrum. More on that in a near future post.

Footnote: The source for much of this history is from the Parents.com website.

Positive Psychology

To this layman, it seems that most of the Psychology and especially Psychiatry professions today are now focused on fixing disorders in people. If you go to someone in those professions you must be broken in one way or another. You just don’t hear about psychologists helping people to improve their lives and relationships. That field is called Positive Psychology.

While I was doing some investigation into Autism recently I came across an article that brought back a flood of memories. It was something I become obsessed with in the early 1970s after I graduated from college. I became fascinated with Psychology. I was a subscriber to Psychology Today and read dozens of books on the subject trying to understand why I had so much trouble understanding human relationships.

I devoured books by Maslow, Berne, Fromm, and Harris in what is now called positive psychology. It was all about helping people lead meaningful and fulfilling lives. Even after all these years I still remember much of what I learned and it helps me in trying to understand why people are as they are. Things like:

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • Berne’s PAC – Parent-Adult-Child transactions
  • I’m Ok – You’re OK
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Understanding the Ego

I wonder why we don’t hear more about these types of things today?

It seems we have just quit trying to understand one another now.

We just call anyone who now disagrees with us our enemy. I think I need to re-visit these folks some more in the future and maybe even give you a lesson or two on the subject. Having a better understanding of people and their actions is just maybe something we drastically need now.

Just to give you a little taste of this field, here are some word from Wikipedia about Maslow’s theory of Self-Actualization:

Self-actualization can be seen as similar to words and concepts such as self-discovery, self-reflection, self-realization and self-exploration.
As Abraham Maslow noted, the basic needs of humans must be met (e.g. food, shelter, warmth, security, sense of belonging) before a person can achieve self-actualization – the need to be good, to be fully alive and to find meaning in life. Yet, Maslow argued that reaching a state of true self-actualization in everyday society was fairly rare. Research shows that when people live lives that are different from their true nature and capabilities, they are less likely to be happy than those whose goals and lives match. For example, someone who has inherent potential to be a great artist or teacher may never realize his/her talents if their energy is focused on attaining the basic needs of humans.

I find this stuff very interesting, even after so many years away from it.

Homeschooling

I will say up front here that I am not an advocate for homeschooling.  I think it deprives a person of some very necessary life experiences. What is the primary reason that parents give for homeschooling their children?

We control the curriculum.

With homeschooling, I can choose the curriculum that best meets my child’s learning style.

A relaxed atmosphere.
Homeschooling, for the most part, is a much more tranquil atmosphere than the traditional school system

It keeps me connected with my child’s education.

My home, my values.
Yes, I’m Christian, but this goes beyond my faith

More time with my kids.

Source: HuffPost

To me, the detrimental side of homeschooling is that the kid is not exposed to much of anything outside the family’s worldview and corresponding attached prejudices. Then when it comes to leaving the nest some are grossly unprepared for what they will face. They know nothing of simple life building things like being teased which builds character. They know nothing about the diversity of the world outside their mother’s reach. They know nothing about families who struggle from paycheck to paycheck.

I went through the first seven grades in a small Catholic school and then went into a small rural public school. The differences were starkly shocking. But even the final five years in a small rural public school did little to prepare me for the diversity of the world I would face in college. For the first time in my life, I was exposed to cultures very different from mine. I had a foreign roommate my first year who had a very different worldview than mine. I managed to cope in this new world and even thrive because of it. I wonder if a homeschooled would do the same?