There’s a difference between perceived knowledge and true knowledge.
I know there are some actual philosophical terms that define what I’m about to say, but my Google Fu has failed me in this regard. But for the purposes of this rant, and it is a rant, I’ll give each of them a name, so that’s it’s easier to talk about them. Perceived knowledge, in the context of this post, is the knowledge that a person believes to be true. True knowledge, in the context of this post, is a knowledge that is factually true and if there is someone or something which writes down the unbiased history of things, this knowledge is what would be written.
Still confused? Perceived knowledge is something you believe is true because you see or experience it. True knowledge is the truth, regardless of your perception and is the unbiased, universal truth. What irks me the most is when someone’s perceived knowledge isn’t actually true, but somehow, by some miraculous coincidence, the true knowledge happens to have similarities with his perceived knowledge.
Let me give you a story to illustrate this. Now imagine this. You’re standing outside your house with a view of your living room and a bush outside your house. Your dad is sitting in a chair in the living room and watching the TV. There is a cat hiding in the bush. Your dad doesn’t know that the cat is in the bush.
And then a soft toy falls from the second floor and falls into the bush. Your dad sees this in his peripheral vision and thinks that a cat has jumped off the second floor and into a bush. He thinks that there is now a cat in the bush. You tell him it’s not a cat that fell off the second floor, but he doesn’t believe you. He goes and pokes the bush, and the cat jumps out and he is left feeling justified about his perceived knowledge.
The true knowledge – there is a cat in the bush. The cat has always been in the bush.
The perceived knowledge – there is a cat in the bush. The cat fell from the second floor into the bush.
Now imagine you have a group mate who has an incredible knack for having his perceived knowledge match with the true knowledge, even though they aren’t actually the same. His is more of a cat was not in the bush, he thinks it’s in the bush. Halfway walking to the bush to check it out, a cat somehow slips into it without anyone noticing. He pokes the bush, cat jumps out and he feels justified.
It’s infuriating, especially when the true knowledge was not known to you, and you try to point out the error in his perceived knowledge, only to have it end up with parts of it being the same as the true knowledge and therefore he thinks he’s right all along. Gah.
If you actually understood what I’m trying to say, and kudos to you if you did, do you have any similar stories?