Thursday, December 04, 2008

"To understand something" means to substitute something lumpy and complicated with a more or less orderly pattern of trivialities.

"To have experience in something" means the ability to build the way to the distantly looming and fuzzy goal from the building blocks of trivial actions,plus the ability to prove that whatever appeared from the distance as looming and fuzzy and whatever the way has lead us to is exactly the same thing.


james said...

Isn't there more to understanding than that? I'd like to see you turn your mind more forcefully to that question. (Then I'll comment more fully, myself.)

Thank you for writing a great blog!

-- James Bach

[This is a really confusing interface for posting comments!]

Anna Nachesa said...

Thanks! This interface is a bit new for me as well, and the whole blog is still a big experimental.

As I also wrote recently, I now see understanding as building the missing concept layers from our existing concept set to the concept which we try to understand.

And when - very rarely - we can somehow resonate with something which seemed very distant and lofty before this elaborate and painful process of concept-building is finished, we will probably call it "beauty". Perceiving beauty is not understanding, but it can encourage us to dedicate more efforts to understand it, and sometimes to warn from going the wrong way (i.e. establishing wrong concepts - though "wrong" is a tricky concept in itself).