Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Privileged Experience/Reality

April 43rd, 2000
Today is a day of great triumph. There is a king of Spain. He has been found at last. That king is me. I only discovered this today. Frankly, it all came to me in a flash. I cannot understand how I could even think or imagine for one moment I was only a titular councilor. I can't explain how such a ridiculous idea ever entered my head. Anyway, I'm rather pleased no one's thought of having me put away yet. The path ahead is clear: everything is as bright as daylight. (Emphasis added. "Diary of a Madman" by Gogol)

I have been very interested for some time (ever since reading Spinoza's Theo-Political Treatise) about how we know things, or more specifically, when we realize we know something. Many times one might solve an equation on an exam, erase it fully and completed and then proceed to write the completely wrong solution. It would seem that this individual does not really "know" the answer to the question. We stumble upon many possibilities during the course of a day, but to say we know or understand takes a certain sense, the clarity of an Ahah! moment--then the thought resonates or fits in with the rest of ones knowledge base. Most of the time that Ahah! moment indicates that one has stumbled upon a tiny Truth, but sometimes it confirms that one is crazy, as demonstrated by Gogol above.

Update: I tried to write more about my disunderstanding of American culture when I am in Israel too long, and visa versa, but it was eaten by a Computer Ogre named Quentin. So it goes.

No comments: