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What I Don't Know



It occurs to me to ask myself how badly do I need to know what I don't know.

Now, I realize that could sound conceited, but it's not. I'm readily aware of how much there is left to know. Nor am I at risk of losing my curiosity to find out more.

But after approximately half a century here, the question is, how much more knowledge do I really need? Are there more facts that I need, in order to be happy/content/satisfied with my life?

It seems to me that the answer is no. In fact, the facts that I do know have contributed relatively little to my satisfaction. They do interest me; they give me the opportunity to make conversation, or at least to show off my ability at recall.

But what's going to make me happy to have lived isn't going to be how much I knew, but how well I used it; how well I integrated knowledge into the life of a whole human.

This naturally leads to the question of what else it takes to make a whole human. You'll have to pardon me if that seems obvious to you. To me, growing up, intellect was the only quality I recognized in myself, and the only skill I made an effort to develop. I'd say it's about time I came up with a coherent plan to develop the rest of it ...

I'm only going to list other traits here. I suspect other people's strengths and weaknesses are quite different from mine, in many cases. But for me, I would like to continue to increase my empathy and connection to my emotions, my intuition, and my creativity. It's not that I truly lack any of these qualities; I tend to believe that we're all born "complete", with all the raw materials we need to build a complete human. It's just that we need to practice them, try them out on different problems to see which ones work for each, and then to use them in our daily lives.

I'll let you know how it goes.


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Wait, what? You don't know everything? What the hell... I've been mislead this whole time... :P

For me, knowing things is like a security blanket. The more I know about something, the safer I feel. This is why grad school was a very depressing time...yeah, I was learning more, but I was also learning how much I didn't know and would likely never know--scarey :eek:.... So, while I would like to understand the entire workings of the universe down to what goes on in the human brain and the results of the interplay of human consciouses, and so on...I begrudgingly accept that it may not be possible.

But maybe there are other ways of "knowing" than hunting down facts. Ever try to think without putting words to your thoughts? Can you see a situation and understand it without placing words and labels on any part of it? Maybe instead you communicate about it with a drawing, or maybe not even that. It's a fun brain exercise--perceiving without attaching language to something.

I'll stop rambling... for now...:cool:

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Well, we could call everything that happens in the mind "thought" or "knowledge", and that would be a different way of looking at it. I'm just trying to free myself from a narrow focus on fact/word/left brain mental activity, and give the rest of it a chance. That makes me restrict the definition of "knowledge" to what I used to do, and seek other terms for the rest of it.

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I have no idea where Mark is other than east coast. He's probably fine, but I did notice he isn't online anymore. Here's what wikipedia says about that magnitude of earthquake:

"Can cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings over small regions. At most slight damage to well-designed buildings."

It's considered a "moderate" earthquake.

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Hey all. Thanks for the caring. :-)

I'm fine; everybody in my family has checked in with somebody, and we're all fine.

I think it was luckily just below the damage threshold ... First one I've ever felt, though. Was kinda cool being on the tenth floor of an office building and knowing that nothing else could make us move like that.

I kept having to restrain myself, given that all the people were work people, from saying "Did the earth move for you, too?"

So you know I'm okay if I'm punning again. ;-)

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Um, there was just one play ...

I wasn't afraid, really. I figured that if it was big enough to bring the building down, there wasn't anything to do, anyway. There were no fires, and although some people panicked, there was no real running, either. On our floor, I didn't see even a ceiling tile down, much less "damage". I stayed up on the tenth floor until after it was over (in fact, I posted the comment at 2:12 yesterday, server time, shortly after it happened.) But, they made an announcement to clear the building, so I had to go, too quickly to say anything to y'all, first.

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I figured that if it was big enough to bring the building down' date=' there wasn't anything to do, anyway. [/quote']

How do you ever manage this??

I saw all of the stories on the news about people running out of buildings in Albany. I didn't even feel it. :confused:

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I'm doing fine, Sue. Back at work today; nothing's really been impacted much. Though apparently, they've closed the Washington Monument for a while, to study a crack in it up near the top.

I guess I managed to remain calm because it never occurred to me to be otherwise, Beth. I get scared about some things, but this just seemed interesting to me. I thought about what I should do, and when it didn't seem like there was anything to do, I just watched it and felt it, with a deep interest.

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