By the masters, we are always taught the simple and the fundamentals first. You learn arithmetic before calculus. You learn to balance on a bike before attempting 45 degree leans into turns. You train your body in “conditioning” before attempting any kind of sport. If there is material we are not taught, we learn it “trial by fire” – we on our own need to go through the additional extra effort to find out what works and what does, and then look at the sum total of all experiences to simplify and model reality more efficiently. Not too long ago, even the greatest mathematicians didn’t understand the concept of the number zero. Perhaps now every kid above the age of five can recognize it easily, but once, old men with a lifetime of experience struggled with the idea. They had to figure out a system, a new set of fundamentals, to incorporate it. There exists no masters who teach the masters.
What has been done by other people is irrelevant. If you are learning something on your own that someone you know, someone now living or even someone a hundred years ago has already figured out and written down, it’s approximately the same as if you’re the first one who’s ever done it. It is not as if there is some great pool of knowledge, a hivemind of mankind that all of us have instantaneous and free access to at any given point in time. It can be said this is why discovery is exhilarating, regardless of whether it’s of something in the past, something already being done by others, or something yet unknown. It is the mysticism of reality.
But we act as if such a hivemind exists. The extent of propagation of this idea, the “democratization of knowledge”, has made it possible for people to be locked up for “plagiarism” – you are supposed to know every idea of every person who has ever lived, be able to sort through which ideas belong to whom, and then not say any of them without attribution. How can you have an excuse, when the internet does your bidding at the press of a key? Even assuming intellectual property rights and ignoring that this concept doesn’t fit at the most basic levels, how are you supposed to gain the knowledge of what belongs to whom? To whom does this meta-knowledge belong and how can it be acknowledged? Nobody, of course. That’s why there’s no contradiction. Knowledge belongs to everybody, and you are the incarnation of evil when you steal it.
Because the assumption instead is that everyone has access and understanding to all the knowledge that all of mankind has ever discovered and the constant reminder via endless source attributions that we ourselves know nothing, we constantly look to everyone else as masters. We in turn believe all we ever see is fundamentals and the simplicities, and it doubly means the death of mysticism. This is, after all, the age of information. We can’t be like those Christian Fundametalists believing in some ridiculous ephemeral father figure living in the clouds. We have to be… well, it isn’t all that different is it?
In a sense, attribution is paying respects to the masters. But there’s a reason why the greatest of masters, either in fact or in fiction (and usually, fiction is simply the mean of the facts), don’t care for people stealing their ideas. It’s not only because it’s not worth thinking about so they leave it to their followers; they don’t believe it can be done. Indeed, at some point in the past, plagiarism was “the ultimate compliment”. To musicians in the classical (music) era, plagiarism showed that “a composer had been able to cultivate a musical idea that could now thrive independently of his efforts.” (source) Masters care not whether or not you have it, they care how you use what you have and whether or not you want to obtain what they have. The people who emphasize attribution are always the lackeys… the brown-nosers, the people obsessed with recognition, the people whose main goal is not the same as those who lead them, the people who never get anywhere.
Those that do are statistical error and almost always get erased pretty quickly and easily. For obvious reasons – if you hold a position you cannot sustain, you will not sustain it. That is why lackeys are lackeys. If all you ever do is act like a lackey, or worse, give attention to and follow the directions of lackeys, then you will never become a master.
In this corrupt structuring of reality (knowledge and ideas are simply the modeling of reality), there is no way to be “good”. If you are doing something correctly (do not read: “right”), you were supposed to. After all, it was simple and you were taught it and everyone else knows it already. If you aren’t… well then you’re doing it wrong (do not read: “incorrectly”) and you should reflect on your sins. There is no way to be right, only less wrong. Those who are proficient will occasionally get a setback, and those who are not even adequate will feel the weight of worlds on top of them. In this system, one does not stand on the shoulder of giants. Giants stand on the shoulders of you.
While negative incentives are all well and good, they have their place.
It is inside reality, not outside of it. Not structuring it.
How you see the world is how you see yourself, and with the idea that you can only be less wrong – that is, without the possibility to desire to be better – you cannot have discipline. And of course, without discipline at the individual level, everything else on every other level falls apart. The death of culture means the death of society, which shifts distributions towards the chaotic and destructive ends because in the short term, that is how equilibrium is most optimally achieved.
- Individual level: Desire to improve > Discipline > Mastery > Teaching of fundamentals
- Cultural parallel: Mysticism > Culture > Knowledge > Teaching of fundamentals
As true as it may become that the sum of mankind’s knowledge inches closer to becoming a hivemind, it will never be an accurate model of reality. The democratization of knowledge model can only exist for those who only live within the sum – for if reality was actually already fully mapped, then perhaps they would have a legitimate argument. But it isn’t. And it can never be. Much of reality will be forever shrouded in mists.
The problem with the current culture is not how we deal with the unknown. On the contrary, we don’t have a culture, and we do not have a concept of unknown. Of course we don’t – we act as if everything has already been discovered by someone else. Do you want to make an argument? Then pull up evidence, i.e. stuff that other people have said before you. Where did they get it? From yet others who came before them. Ignore researches and people at the top of the system – even high school kids performing that level math treat it as an art (trailer). We discuss those who are inside the system, and for them, it is purely led by lackeys. It is not a coincidence that professors these days at the top universities never teach. The system leading up to them – the public K-12 – has already molded everyone into something that is not worth their time to deal with. So who deals with them?
And what perspective do the lackeys teach with?
Nothing under the sun is new.
If you do not recognize an opponent, you cannot react to it. As it stands, the system of the masses treats the unknown as simply “wrong about the known”. The difference is not insignificant – it is as different as positive and negative intrinsic motivation. In this language, there is a confusion between two concepts: correct as in accurate, and correct as in righteous. I use the former whenever I remember because that clarifies my purpose. But conventional usage has the latter, and when dealing with the unknown, it leads to completely unproductive and often horrific events. If I have the described perspective and I am suspicious about you, it means two things – I am wrong about what I observe about you, and I know I am right about the previous statement. Thus with the infinite weight of justice the event becomes the justification for torture and imprisonment – completely independent of all after-the-fact justifications. The wordings of those change per era. The perception of individuals does not.
A more correct perception of the unknown treats it as “inaccurate about the known”. The ancients had it simplified: “it was magic”. That is why the masters of any field always treat their work as art, as a passion, as something which can bear new discoveries at any turn. That is the nature of reality, or more accurately, the nature of human perception.
That is what we lack: magic. Mysticism. Mystery. Unknown. The shameful shell of a culture that exists today has made it so that we do not think in terms of ourselves versus the world… indeed, there is no “versus” at all. There is no fight, for what we should desire is world peace, the greater good. But again, all this is based off of a system that does not encompass all human endeavors. Indeed, it encompasses almost nothing. With the middle class’s insane inane and completely unreasoned pushing of people towards college and higher education, this hivemind-based “culture” creates… well, hivemind-based people. I’m sure you’ve encountered enough stories in which there are creatures or people who live in such a system, and what their individuals are like. It is no wonder that there is now a large gap between “book smarts” and “street smarts”, and why the latter almost always trumps the former.
If you deny reality it will automatically work against you.
This culture denies half of reality.
The glass is not “half full” ~or~ “half empty”. It is always full.
The other half is air. Reality is not “known” and “unknown” – this makes it so that both ideas are based off of one concept, which is not helpful. The glass of water analogy – it is based on the water only. It is better to see reality as “known” and “magic”.
Knowledge is a function of time and situation. The concept “magic” allows one to take in and model the world as a whole, noting each and every one of its reactions. When treating things as simply “unknown” under the traditional right and wrong, all one ever gets is a singular drive towards the goal – the goal of which is professed to be unknown to begin with. There are many things that one will definitely miss, more than when treating the world as mistic. Perhaps you will get to the answer first. But you will forever have to correct yourself to be less wrong… and it is not a fight you are fighting against the world. It will be a fight you are fighting against yourself and your perceptions.
When all else is not “unknown” but instead “magic” and “magic” becomes recognized, the positions of things become clear, even if the properties are yet shrouded. Thus, a fight can be had. Thus, both after and before the fact, a motivation to improve, and thus create order.
If you do, good. If you don’t, well then reality will remind you.
It will be up for you to recognize that as well.