The Pleasure of Simple Ignorance

The shelves of books that i have read are mere pale shadows of that which i do now know: libraries of knowledge that fall far beyond the threshold of my ignorance. The age of mankind is littered with the artefacts of thought: codified wisdom, held in frameworks of understanding, there for us to pick up and explore. Some based in fact, some in belief.

The Pleasure of Simple Ignorance

In short succession i have just read Carlo Rovelli’s two fascinating books on time, learning, in the process, how ‘time’ does not exist, or rather, does not exist as i experience it. I won’t pretend to be able to explain the physics behind it, except to say that, as i read each paragraph twice, for one short, blissful minute (possibly a minute of my fictional thermal time), i thought i understood it.

Now i bask in the shadow of that understanding. I live in ignorance.

I am not ignorant of the thing that i formerly did not know: i am ignorant of the thing that i know exists.

I am uncertain whether i have come away with more knowledge, but i have certainly come away with a sharper impression as to the specific dimensions of my ignorance, and i am happy that this is a gap i will never bridge.

Some paragraphs i enjoyed for their content, others i appreciated for the beauty of the terms that meant nothing to me, but clearly spoke their meaning to Rovelli. A language of maths and physics that form a door to which i have no key. I guess we can find beauty in the knowledge of others.

I was reminded of the door i saw in the religious library in Fez, a door with four keys: no single scholar could open it, instead needing all the scholars together, each with their individual key, to kick the door ajar.

I am not that scholar, but i take solace in the fact that they exist. I find a certain solace in their quest.

Some problems are just hard: Rovelli himself, towards the end of his book, lapses to contemplation of mortality, and the introspection of age, other lenses through which he contemplates time.

Some knowledge i seek to know, but much will forever be beyond me. But there is a comfort in knowing that others stride through those distant aisles of the library. And in their shadow, i can take solace in the pleasure of simple ignorance.

About julianstodd

Author and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the Social Age. I’ve written ten books, and over 2,000 articles, and still learning...
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2 Responses to The Pleasure of Simple Ignorance

  1. Pingback: Monuments | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Pingback: Guide to the Social Age 2019: Algorithmic Wars | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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