Difficulties of Recognizing Our Own Incompetence

Buddy

The Living Force
Seamas said:
Does any of this make sense? This is just my attempt to work through the problem, I could be way off.

It does indeed make sense to me, but it just brings us back to the 'less' intelligent position of simply knowing that there is something we don't know. At least, that's how I see it. :)
 

Buddy

The Living Force
mkrnhr said:
Bud, i don't know why this stone on Jupiter is so important, maybe it exists and maybe not, so we can go on Jupiter and check, but we are open to the fact that we don't know what's the matter with this purple stone: We know that we don't know about something we can know. But who knows what's on Jupiter that we cannot know even if we go there (can't give an example since we don't know what/who/whatever-question it is)? So in this case we know that we don't know about what we don't know. Otherwise i didn't understand the question and in this case it is not very wise to travel with you to the north pole of Jupiter :)

I understand. Thanks for your reply. It's just that using an example of some sort is how I bring ideas down to the ground. I feel like if what someone says can't be brought to ground, then it didn't start from ground in the first place. If this is so, then I'd be satisfied just to know that. :)
 

go2

Dagobah Resident
Here is psychopath Donald Rumsfeld spellbinding the crowd into warring against the unknown unknowns.

and the Cornell Psychology Professor David Dunning who was mesmerized by the psychopath and has made a career out of his epiphany.

DAVID DUNNING said:
That’s absolutely right. It’s knowing that there are things you don’t know that you don’t know. [4] Donald Rumsfeld gave this speech about “unknown unknowns.” It goes something like this: “There are things we know we know about terrorism. There are things we know we don’t know. And there are things that are unknown unknowns. We don’t know that we don’t know.” He got a lot of grief for that. And I thought, “That’s the smartest and most modest thing I’ve heard in a year.”

Bud said:
snip.....
...but I'm wondering if anyone besides me has a problem with this part:

JGeropoulas said:
...but a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

What process of investigation or thought could result in 'knowing' that "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know"?

IOW, if "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know", how in the world could you arrive at the idea that you "know" that?

How is this supposed to "may be a possible sign of more intelligence"? The author doesn't seem to say.

Any ideas?

How about the geniuses who know there are things you don't know you don't know you don't know you don't know......... :lol:
 

Buddy

The Living Force
go2 said:
How about the geniuses who know there are things you don't know you don't know you don't know you don't know......... :lol:

Indeed, and that's what i was thinking. The statement is a mixture of common sense and a reductio ad absurdum. I think. :)
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Bud said:
I understand. Thanks for your reply. It's just that using an example of some sort is how I bring ideas down to the ground. I feel like if what someone says can't be brought to ground, then it didn't start from ground in the first place. If this is so, then I'd be satisfied just to know that.
That's how i do too ;) In this exemple i used a strange animal in the desert instead of a stone on Jupiter :D
 

thevenusian

Dagobah Resident
Bud said:
I agree with this part...

...but I'm wondering if anyone besides me has a problem with this part:

JGeropoulas said:
...but a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

What process of investigation or thought could result in 'knowing' that "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know"?

IOW, if "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know", how in the world could you arrive at the idea that you "know" that?

How is this supposed to "may be a possible sign of more intelligence"? The author doesn't seem to say.

Any ideas?

Well, what I get is something like this- I don't know very much about nuclear physics. I also don't know what I don't know about nuclear physics, because I lack the knowledge and experience to conceptualize, frame and inquire about the concepts involved. If I trained and studied, then I would have a better idea or know more about what I don't know.

It seems to me another good example for this would be 3-D beings trying to conceptualize 4-D. It would be one level of intelligence to know there are things we don't know. Another step which may well indicate a more accurate description of where we are as 3-D beings would be to realize we don't even know what we don't know.

In a way, it might indicate a more 'open' mind, in that it is willing to maintain a conceptual space for one's own chronic condition of ignorance, at least relative to all that is possible. I could see why that might be termed 'more intelligent'. Maybe that is partly why 'Learning is fun'.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
Bud said:
What process of investigation or thought could result in 'knowing' that "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know"?

IOW, if "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know", how in the world could you arrive at the idea that you "know" that?

How is this supposed to "may be a possible sign of more intelligence"? The author doesn't seem to say.

Any ideas?

It simply has to do with the ability to deeply question your own thinking.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
anart said:
Bud said:
What process of investigation or thought could result in 'knowing' that "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know"?

IOW, if "there are things that you don’t know you don’t know", how in the world could you arrive at the idea that you "know" that?

How is this supposed to "may be a possible sign of more intelligence"? The author doesn't seem to say.

Any ideas?

It simply has to do with the ability to deeply question your own thinking.

...and it is the 'do' that I am asking for more information on from the perspective of someone who will claim they understand the statement and that the statement makes sense.

To 'know' is to have awareness and understanding of something, right? Here is the statement again:

JGeropoulas said:
A sign of an intelligent person is knowing there are things you don’t know. But a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

I see no difference between this phrase:

A sign of an intelligent person is knowing there are things you don’t know.

...and this phrase:

But a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

...in terms of meaning.

However, in terms of the logical/linguistic structure, the difference appears to be an insertion of a redundancy where none is needed. If it is a fact that there are things you don't know that you don't know, then there are simply things you don't know. Where is there any difference in meaning?

When I diagram this out, it looks even worse. In reality, the subject here is "something you can know" and the author states as much with the claim of a possibility to 'know' there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

So, starting from the beginning, the class of all things represents the 'universal' class. This universal class divides into things a person knows about and the remainder of the class represents things he doesn't know about. The author then implies a subclass of 'do not knows' from the existing class of 'do not knows'. Then he places this subclass that he has found called "things you do not know that you do not know" into the class of things a person can know about, to wit:

"But a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know."

All I'm asking is where is the evidence that backs up the author's assertion of a 'knowing' that may be a sign of 'more intelligence'. I don't see any evidence. And from my perspective, the author has only succeeded in revealing the reverse.
 

anart

A Disturbance in the Force
I think you may be working yourself up by over-analyzing a fairly basic concept.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
anart said:
I think you may be working yourself up by over-analyzing a fairly basic concept.

Noted. But if that is so, I am asking someone who will claim to understand the author's statement, to explain it to me so that my simple mind can grasp how I may be 'over-analyzing'. I just look at what is in front of me. It is not I that is claiming that I can know something and that this 'something' can be represented as something that I don't know that I don't know. It is the author and anyone who asserts the same claim who has the onus of providing the evidence of his assertion.

After all, I may be contributing a real-life example that might be helpful to this topic.
 

go2

Dagobah Resident
anart said:
I think you may be working yourself up by over-analyzing a fairly basic concept.

FWIW....The opinionator Errol Morris wrote a long logically flawed essay which Anart reduced to a single sentence. "It simply has to do with the ability to deeply question your own thinking." I read the article and it is my impression a certain pathology is evidenced in the work. I think Bud's question points to the logical flaws of the Errol Morris essay written for the New York Times opinion page. I traced this flawed logic back to Donald Rumsfeld. I think the piece is an example of ponerization of thought. It is written to bury a common sense idea with pages of wiseacring.
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
in flatland, there is square living its 2dim life. He can understand the transformations in 2dim and everything, but he also understands that there are other transforms in 3dim, 4dim, 5dim... that are out of the reach of his 2dim understanding. square is intelligent^2 because of his understanding and because of his understanding of the limits of his understanding.
 

Psalehesost

The Living Force
Bud said:
To 'know' is to have awareness and understanding of something, right? Here is the statement again:

JGeropoulas said:
A sign of an intelligent person is knowing there are things you don’t know. But a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

I see no difference between this phrase:

A sign of an intelligent person is knowing there are things you don’t know.

...and this phrase:

But a sign of an even more intelligent person may be knowing there are things that you don’t know you don’t know.

...in terms of meaning.

However, in terms of the logical/linguistic structure, the difference appears to be an insertion of a redundancy where none is needed. If it is a fact that there are things you don't know that you don't know, then there are simply things you don't know. Where is there any difference in meaning?

There is a difference in how they are typically thought. When you think of 'knowing there are things you don't know', for me at least, the thought contains 'unknown things' in connection to 'I', and/or 'I don't know' in connection to 'things'. In the second case, it becomes 'I don't know' in connection to 'not knowing'. The thought becomes self-scrutinizing in a way it isn't in the first case.
 

Stevie Argyl

Jedi Master
Bud

Would it have to do with identification of classes or categories?

Eg I dont know where you parked your car - this is an 'known' unknown. But I do know that there is a member called 'car' in the category of objects defined as modes of 4 wheeled transport .

If I know the existance of the category I can start thinking about members that might be included in the category.

What if I do not know the category and am not aware of any spurious members that may require inclusion in an as yet un named category - is that my unknown unknowns?

Ha ! but to 'know' that there are unknown unknowns do I not need to know the class or category containing the unknowns or that there exists a member that doesnt fit an extant category.
?
So when it comes to unknown unknowns do I actually 'know' that these exist or am I merely open to the possibility that they might?

Long time since I have explored Russels set theory , anyone with more recent logic training out there ?

So far I agree with you Bud - the 'more intelligent' claim seems nonsensical when based on what appears to be a tautological abstraction .
 
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