Cannibals & Missionaries

Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains: Macroinformation.org &
Knatz.com / Teaching / Society / Social Epistemology / Cosmology / Social Semiotics /
@ K. 2006 01 23

Cannibals & Missionaries

(Communications Among Groups
With Incompatible Understandings)

Understanding falls and shatters climbing among different belief systems.

I’m merging two drafts of the “same” module, it should smooth eventually:
Alternate phrasing:
Meaningful communication is simply not possible across epistemologies differing in too many basics.

That latter is how I expressed it in my Experts Scrapbook, employing my recently adapted symbols for groups with incompatible understandings.

Yesterday I started reworking my Understanding module in my Thinking Tools section, dedicating a new sub-folder to the subject. Correspondingly, I open a new sub-folder here in the Social Epistemology section of my Society grouping: understanding / misunderstanding, with the social elements emphasized.

As usual, some prose wove itself first, me attending; then I think of a more meaningful way to organize and display it, the prose already not fitting very well: a microcosm of life, can’t be helped.

As usual, I’ll just blab, scrapbook file, hoping to make the time to reweave it all as though I’d thought everything out first, before writing a line. Oh, how polish lies.


A Christian may say that God, the centralized power of Western human kleptocracy, became man — Jesus — in order to understand us, to walk a mile in our shoes. OK. Now, from our standpoint, shouldn’t we become God, walk a mile in his shoes, before we deign to talk about God?

Human beings talk. That’s what we do.

They talked a lot.
Nigel Calder

That more than anything makes us what we are. pk for example: talk, talk, talk. But do we know what we’re talking about? Do we know what we’re saying?

Mathematics may be defined as the subject
where we do not know what we are talking about,
neither do we know if what we are saying is true.

Bertrand Russell


I claim myself to be rare in the extent to which I know what I’m talking about; I also have some awareness of how much I don’t know what I’m talking about!

2006 05 17 I’ve had cannibals and missionaries on the brain thus far this 2006. Today I want to emphasize something that should already be obvious to anyone who follows pk thinking, if there is such a crittur: the possibility of understanding may be seen as a spectrum. Spectra should be considered as infinite: here, with zero understanding impossibly unreachable at one “end”; god’s perfect understanding equally impossibly unreachable at the other. Along the spectrum any area may be seen by any other area, left or right of it, to be either cannibal or missionary depending on where the position sees itself as being in relation to the other.

Now: imagine different areas rating the necessarily subjective evaluations of another area. Any group will naturally think of itself as just short of god along the spectrum.

Imagine flat-earthers sending missionaries to the M theorists: imagining them to be cannibals! That will give the M theorists a laugh: they imagine themselves to be well advanced, right-ward along the spectrum.

2014 06 09 Parallel comparisons could be drawn between Slavers and Slaves.

Note any such categories may mix: Missionary group A could be both “Christian” “Missionary” and “cannibal”. Slave A could herself own slaves.

2013 07 14 I urge all to read Sarah Vowell, particularly her Unfamiliar Fishes (and her Wordy Shipmates).

Sure, all missions are inherently patronizing to the host culture. That’s what a mission is — a bunch of strangers showing up somewhere uninvited to inform the locals they are wrong. But it’s worth remembering that these women, and the men they married so recklessly, believed they were risking their own lives to spare strangers on the other side of the world from an eternity in hell.

scrap to de-dup
Yesterday I started reworking my Understanding module in my Thinking Tools section, dedicating a new sub-folder to the subject. Correspondingly, I open a new sub-folder here in the Social Epistemology section of my Society grouping: understanding / misunderstanding, with the social elements emphasized.

As usual, some prose wove itself first, me attending; then I think of a more meaningful way to organize and display it, the prose already not fitting very well: a microcosm of life, can’t be helped.

As usual, I’ll just blab, scrapbook style, hoping to make the time to reweave it all as though I’d thought everything out first, before writing a line. Oh, how polish lies.

A Christian may say that God, the centralized power of Western human kleptocracy, became man — Jesus — in order to understand us, to walk a mile in our shoes. OK. Now, from our standpoint, shouldn’t we become God, walk a mile in his shoes, before we deign to talk about God?

Human beings talk. That’s what we do. That more than anything makes us what we are. pk for example: talk, talk, talk. But do we know what we’re talking about? Do we know what we’re saying?

Mathematics may be defined as the subject where we do not know what we are talking about,
neither do we know if what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell

I claim myself to be rare in the extent to which I know what I’m talking about; I also have some awareness of how much I don’t know what I’m talking about!

Imagine flat-earthers sending missionaries to the M theorists: imagining them to be cannibals! That will give the M theorists a laugh: they imagine themselves to be well advanced, right-ward along the spectrum.

Related modules: links to be repaired after resurrections completed

Understanding
Experts Scrapbook
What does it matter if …?
ACLU Survey
Kleptocracy & “Van Gogh”

Society & Understanding
Heaven

Sentience & Semiotics

About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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