The implication may be that all perceived or extant things, or contemplated truths, are obscured and distorted by innumerable or infinite layers of illusion.
More specifically, the actual : unity, regularity, patternedness, determinism, accidentality, beauty, grandeur, complexity, stratification, simplicity, queerness, self-interaction, perfection, imperfection, meaningfulness, richness of possibilities, paradoxy, richness of detail, evolutionariness, subjectivity, self-hiddenness, deceivingness, ambiguity, multiplexedness, hierarchicality, multidimensionality, activity, internality, controllability,_knowability, exploitability, organicity, reconceptualizability, 'brilliance of design', etc : of the world, things, or phenomena may transcend - to an arbitrarily great degree - what is conventionally assumed or imagined or what is momentarily cognizable.
Overlooked may be all sorts of higher: systems, mechanisms, relationships, laws, entities, phenomena, processes, trends, capacities, potentialities, causes, interactions, effects, structures, types of order, senses, behaviors, changes, transformations, forces, concepts, functions, goals, events, combinations, analogies, differences, trees, problems, needs, resources, opportunities, uses, values, goods, bads, kinds, origins, circumstances, environments, conflicts, corollaries, geneses, futuribles, histories, knowledge or modes of cognition, chains and series, solutions, stories, strategies, cycles, descriptions, convergences, divergences, essences, flows, networks and other meta-structures, connections, paths, perfections, shortcuts, spectrums, sets, simplifications, theories, synergisms, evidences, forms of work, equilibria and disequilibria, equalities :and inequalities, symmetries and asymmetries, equivalences and virtuals, opposites and antisyzygies, 'games', generalizations or extensions, matrices, measures, properties and dimensions, niches, paradoxes, perspectives, appearances, types and elements of probability, reactions, spaces and manifolds, transcendences, alternatives, calculi, coevolutions, conservations, cybernetics, degrees of freedom, domains, emergents, impossibilities, pathoses, reciprocities, representations, principles, self-effects, forms and topologies, coordinate systems, co-probabilities, "groups", gestalten, wholes, ecological systems, inversions, negations, recursions, relaxations, tertium quids, vergences, etc.
Ideonomy can help to discover and exploit all of them.
Higher realities often elude detection for such reasons as that they: are nontraditional, are too abstract, are too specific or general, presuppose highly original thought, presuppose an accumulation of knowledge or experience, are too subtle, require extreme logic or mental rigor, are too disturbing to easily contemplate, would be anything but popular, assume great self-knowledge, are too easily confused with more familiar things, are easily misunderstood, demand a long sequence of thought or argumentation, lack some way to be proven or tested, at first seem trivial or meaningless, require relearning, presuppose transformations of one's ideas, demand special awareness of one's assumptions, appear self-contradictory, involve new categories of feeling or intuition, presuppose extraordinary imagination, are too fundamental, are holistic or synthetic, demand excessively broad or interdisciplinary knowledge or competence, are in fact too obvious to be seen, require an excessively open world view, have no defined interest, involve too many assumptions, demand too much objectivity or honesty, demand great mental clarity, depend on a free manipulation of all of one's ideas, involve the substitution of new concepts for old, involve assumptions that are too vast or concepts that are too large, require new learning, presuppose epoche (suspension of judgment), require deliberation or calculation, imply a reconstruction of perception or apperception, involve a reintegration of knowledge or new combinations of ideas and things, require great powers of memory; seem too random, chaotic, amorphous, or vague; qualify certainty, condition necessity, free impossibility, outrage common sense, unite opposites, complicate simplicity, relativize absolutes, pluralize truth, substantiate paradoxes, seem to subvert 'reality', outrange expression, bespeak new worlds, or require such things as greatness of spirit, untrammeled curiosity, boldness of mind, dedication to truth, a sense of beauty, etc.
Diverse illustrative examples of higher realities that have been previously discovered or considered or that may yet be discovered are: A supraconscious mind; Gaia, or all of life and much of geology as manifestations of a single all-comprehensive superorganism; A human soul or a spiritual realm; Deity; Society or civilization as a superorganism or supermind; Human or even natural history as a dialectical process; A regnant or superessential "Ideocosm"; Cosmological superspace; The "Prespace" and "Implicate Order" of physicists Wheeler and Bohm; The "Collective Unconscious" of psychologist Jung (when this is not taken as, on the contrary, a lower species of consciousness); The infinite hierarchy of higher infinities of mathematician Cantor; Nature as reconceived per the Banach-Tarski Paradox; The curved spacetime of physicist Einstein; Cosmology--or anthropology--as dictated by the Whorf-Sapir Metalinguistic Hypothesis; The history of Western Music as manifesting the set of maximally compact variations upon certain initialspecial or nonspecial themes--in a 'universal' thematic (or idea) space; Various macrohistorical conceptions of human history (incl. ones viewing it as spiral, helical, cyclic, closed, unilineal, evolutionary, orthogenetic, etc); All so-called fundamental particles reduced to a scattering matrix, intertransformational processes, a vergence, an infinite hierarchy of matrices, or the like; The human mind or physical universe reduced to the recursional progression of a cellular automaton; All of mathematics reduced to the evolutionary and recursive life of a closed or open (finite or infinite) set of categories, functors, and morphisms per Category Theory; 'Our' cosmos or spacetime reduced to a fractal structure or phenomenon; All of nature reduced to complex numbers--or to one of various other number systems; All of nature reconceived as being entirely static (free of change) à la the philosophic cosmology of Parmenides; The 'universe' itself reconceived as a single superorganism or supermind; Etc.
Help One Think About the History of A Thing
For a variety of reasons the ways in which we study history now are inadequate: There is too much phenomenology and-focus upon sheer trivia; Too little attention is paid to concepts; Processes, geneses, origins, and mechanisms-particularly fundamental ones-are neglected or never identified, or themselves go unexplained; Treatment of historical material is not in terms of the comprehensive, fundamental, orthogonal, and combinatorial dimensions of all historical phenomena; Accounts, analyses, and syntheses of the actual course history took are bereft of the parallactic dimension that would be conferred upon them if they were accompanied by or interwoven with parallel studies of the other canonical courses that history could have taken instead; Paradigms governing existing historical description and theory, and the styles of different historians, are not explicitly and comprehensively investigated, identified, interrelated, and illustrated for their roles and effects in actual historical writing; The universe of all possible approaches to history is not explored; The study of history is deficient in an aleatory element--for chance is not used to choose methods, concepts, dimensions, themes, periods, places, interpretations, things to be associated, etc, in a way that would maximize the scope, playfulness, independence, originality, richness, spontaneity, and space --and minimize the redundancy, conventionality, narrowness, faddishness, arbitrariness, unnatural clumpiness, and ossification--of historical inquiry; The study of human history is overemphasized relative to the study of the histories of nonhuman and inanimate things, or of purely physical phenomena--and human and nonhuman history are not used to illuminate one another, either superficially or fundamentally, and certainly not in an ideonomic sense; History is not dealt with in terms of the total set of ideonomic subdivisions and the historiographic synergisms thereof; As is unfortunately true in all fields, the amount, importance, and sophistication of criticism--by historians of one another, of themselves, of historical phenomena, and of historical criticism itself--is anything but what it should be; History is neither depicted nor explained in terms of the fundamental meta-structures and meta-processes-- e.g. trees, networks, hierarchies, chains, series, rings, vergences, plexures, circuitries, clusters, matrices, fractals, "chaoses", etc.--of things, events, phenomena, causes, effects, etc; Historical anomalies are understudied and undervalued; The possible or full role of chance in history is poorly illuminated; There is far too little modeling and computer simulation of history (or of the fanciful histories of fanciful things); The body of historical knowledge is not used to perform predictive experiments that could test and refine the powers, methods, and theories of historical science, and aid the evaluation of different historical writers, writings, and schools; The infinite hierarchy of alternating ever-higher-order (and ever-lower-order) time-symmetric and time-asymmetric aspects of history has been little ascended (and descended); Studies of the past, present, and future are seldom compared and have never been unified in an ideonomic sense (that is, reduced to the same set of phenomena, laws, possibilities, etc); Etc.
Ideonomy has the power to radically and irreversibly transform the treatment of history, and the status and stature of historical science. By amplifying the standards., scope, depth, rate of advance, breadth of application, challenge, intellectual vitality, and human importance of, historiology, ideonomy could make it into what it has never been in recent memory: a magnet for some of the brightest students and scholars.
The importance of studying history or the history of a thing is: To clarify and temporalize the present; To better understand the future (e.g. by analogy, extrapolation, and knowledge of fundamentals); To identify the eternal or time-invariant aspects of the world; To enlarge or maximize one's perspectives; To learn how things began and developed; To discover the causes of things; To perceive the actual or potential variability of the world or of the present, and the true breadth of possibilities; To learn what elements of the present are trivial, nonessential, or irrelevant; To identify the convergent, divergent, and vergent aspects of the present; To learn what the necessary and unnecessary elements of nature are; To characterize the paths that past things followed or current things are following; To discover the #conversational or dialectical' elements of the world over time, and the great 'stories' that are being told in and as nature; To increase humility and strip one of prejudices; To acquire wisdom; To learn how to create or shape the future; To acquire a more practical, naturalistic and multidimensional view of things; Etc.
Illustrative examples of histories that ideonomy could be used to elucidate are the histories of: The chemical reaction of two molecules on the scale of picoseconds or nanoseconds; A thought emerging, maturing, acting, and vanishing in the mind on a scale of milliseconds or seconds; An extinct species of crab; The idea of human equality or of infinity; The American Civil War; The soil in a region; A storm system tracking its way across a continent; A man's life (his biography) Historiography itself; The dialectical changes of the English language; The Sun since its origin or the planets were formed; A nation's economy; A mineral inside the Earth; A volcano that has been spasmodically active for countless millennia; A heart over the lifetime of an individual; A hearth fire burning itself out in a few hours; The ocean over geological time; The Impressionist school in painting; How a symphony came to be written in the course of a year; That seen through a microscope in a drop of swamp water observed for one hour; The day's events in a city council; The wear of a machine gear from installation until its failure; The course of a chess game; Groundwater retained in an aquifer for two centuries; A single leaf from its formation until its abscission or disintegration on the ground; The repeated improvements and modifications of the telephone since its invention; A lightning flash lasting one-fifth of a second; Etc.
Ideonomy can define the fundamental set of questions that can and should be asked about the history of anything whatever, e.g.: When, how, and why did the thing originate? Can the history of the thing be circumscribed, or divorced from the history of other things? Has there been some force, process, tendency, circumstance, law, relationship, weakness or strength, need, goal, capability, or the like that has dominated the thing's history? What factors have constrained and perturbed the history of the thing? Was the thing's history shaped by chance or necessity? What other historical courses could the thing have taken--that it did not take? What is most characteristic, essential, or peculiar about the thing's history? What things are most and least clear about its history? What about its history is familiar or normal? What factors could have altered the thing's historical course-factors that might have occurred or operated naturally, or factors representing the arbitrary assumptions or artificial modifications of gedankenexperiments? What chains of causes and effects, or simple sequences of phenomena, have characterized the history of the thing? What has been the rate at which things have occurred, and what has controlled that rate?
An horizon is defined as the fullest range or widest limit of perception, interest, appreciation, knowledge, or experience. In another sense it is the range or limit of hope or expectation or a visible and seemingly attainable end or-object lying within or upon ita goal or prospect.
How can ideonomy expand horizons of perception?
One can look at a picture of a landscape that contains a peculiar object and not notice the presence of that object-even in a case where it should be conspicuous-simply because the type of object is totally unfamiliar. Perception is, in short, a kind of cryptanalysis, and presupposes acquaintance with those 'natural' codes that define the appearance, behavior, properties, or 'being' of things-or cryptological skills. The everyday world unquestionably contains a welter of perceptible-but-unperceived phenomena. Ideonomy can be used to educate and train perception so as to make people aware of radically new and greater things present everywhere about them, and of myriad overlooked aspects and dimensions of familiar objects. It can do this for every sense and in all domains of-direct or indirect-experience. Moreover, it can do this progressively because the new sensa and percepts will recursively extend the possibilities for further perception; in other words, the process can evolve and revolutionize itself.
Ideonomy can indicate, systematize, transform, perfect, generalize, and specialize the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of color, form, structure, texture, arrangement, perspective, motion, change, temporal succession, etc. It can create and lead the mind through all possible abstract perceptual spaces, manifolds, transformations, processes, and Irealities'.
It can take a scene or other perceptual experience and randomly, or in various ordered or interactive ways, vary or reconstruct it, or exhibit its effective perceptual distance to other actual or potential scenes or perceptual experiences. In such ways it can increase the mind's perceptual: compactness, efficiency, flexibility, power, self-control, 'wisdom', speed, robustness, simplicity, universality, logicality, etc.
It can expose the mind to all possible combinations, permutations, transformations, and evolutions of sensa and percepts. It can reveal all the synergisms, antagonisms, and logics of sensa and percepts when they succeed one another in time or are compresent in space.
It can synthesize or analyze percepts on the basis of the natural morphogeneses and morphodynamics of real-world objects, processes, phenomena, and systems.
It can filter out those elements of perceptual experience--say of a scene--that are familiar, average, irrelevant, trivial, redundant, convergent, divergent, unwanted, variable, invariant, random, or the like, and leave or emphasize those elements that are of an opposite nature-that are unfamiliar, atypical, relevant, vital, irredundant, or the like. Initially it will do this simply by training and guiding human perception, but ultimately it will do it by coupling to artificial intelligence or through the automation of perception.
How can ideonomy extend man's interests and appreciations?
Interest in another subject can often be excited by indicating an analogy, complementarity, homomorphy, homology, contrast, or direct link of the other subject to a subject that is more familiar or already of interest. Ideonomy can systematically and comprehensively discover and dramatize all such relationships among all subjects, or between subjects possessed of and lacking prior interest to one. It can show all the ways in which different subjects fit into and illuminate one another, and all the interdependences and possible interactions of topics.
It can discover all of the ways in which things can be interesting, and all the causes, sources, and bases of actual or potential human interests. It can identify and extrapolate the dimensions and trends of interests. It can learn and teach how interests grow, develop, and transform--or can be purposefully or freely transformed--into other interests and other types and realms of interests.
It can maximize a thing's interest--or the pure human capacity for being interested in things.
It can be used to anticipate what would be of interest or of greater interest.
It can heighten the felt or perceived interest of other things by inhibiting the tendency of old interests to get in the way of potential new interests or to be confused with them.
It can reveal the pattern of co-interests that things have--or should have.
It can systematize and comprehend all beauties, values, meanings, uses, functions, roles, goods, bads, duties, needs, wants, evaluations, problems, purposes, goals, ideals, virtuals, possibilities, criticisms, implications, etc.
It can anticipate, visualize, and proliferate new fields and pursuits.
It can show how sets of many interests can and should be simultaneously superseded by other sets of interests.
It can expand the range of application or of applicability of existing methods, tools, and materials.
It can vastly increase the range of considerations bearing upon any given thing, or the conceptual complexity of man's view of the world.
It can transcend the present and explore the interest of future things.
How can ideonomy expand horizons of knowledge?
There are infinitely many routes to knowledge. We know of and use a few, but of an infinity we make no use or are wholly ignorant. We have discovered and developed new routes, historically, by a casual and accidental process. The explicit or implicit assumption has been that anything more efficient, systematic, or methodical than this is impossible, unnecessary, and perhaps even undesirable. Probably there have been thoughts of the sort: 'Tradition has worked well enough; why try to improve upon it? ... Had something more been possible it would long since have been realized. . . . There can be too many routes to knowledge, and too much knowledge, at one time.'
Yet at the dawn of ideonomy this situation may be about to change. The new science-that-is-a-servant-to-science can be used to generate new routes to knowledge en masse, to map out the future landscape of research and the most efficient and desirable pathways through this unfamiliar territory, to discover ways in which to combine multiple related and unrelated lines of inquiry economically and synergistically, and to direct the flow of resources over the road system.
In a certain sense the knowledge mankind possesses at any one moment has an internal infinitude; its relationships to itself--which are progressively definable--are infinitely complex and valuable. But hitherto almost no interest has been shown in the exploration, characterization, and exploitation of these possibilities; science has operated like a mindless bureaucracy, endlessly accumulating new data at the periphery or in the external world, while giving little thought to the intensive meaning of what it already knows. Yet it is a platitude that unorganized data is practically worthless. To be made truly meaningful and important it needs to be given the geometrical perfection, the lawful regularity, the intelligent and definitive elegance of a crystal or gemstone.
Ideonomy promises to vastly extend these internal horizons of human knowledge.
Finally, how can ideonomy expand horizons of experience?
If you want to have a lively night-on-the-town you have to know where to go. The science of the laws of ideas can suggest where the most fun is apt to be had, or the rounds to make if it is a new experience that one yearns for.
By expanding the horizons of one's perception, interest, and appreciation, it will also automatically expand one's experiential horizons-both directly and indirectly.
By defining the basic structure of the world or of possibility itself--and universally--it will make the opportunities for thought, meaning, action, and accomplishment plain.
It will expand horizons by increasing the diversity and excellence of all human beings, in whose community horizons are defined.
Develop An Idea
To develop an idea one needs to know the dimensions it has or in which it can be developed, and these dimensions are to a certain degree universal. Even where they are not universal, their discovery can be facilitated by more or less universal clues, methods, and other means.
Certainly reason and the life of the mind generally have their basic and universal rules, operations, structures, patterns, systems, problems, and peculiarities. Consciousness and mastery of these things can promote the having, exploration, perfection, and transformation of ideas.
All ideas are in various senses and ways generic, and their nature and possibilities can therefore be clarified by consulting the vertical and horizontal relationships they have to other taxons of ideas within systems that undertake to classify ideas, broadly or universally. Such systematic relationships can directly and indirectly suggest the causes, effects, assumptions, functions, uses, values, events, tactics, wisdoms, meta- structures, other concepts, circumstances, resources, principles, phenomena, errors, etc : that are apt to pertain to any idea whatever, to the things that do pertain to that idea, or to the possible or proper development of that idea.
Ideonomy can suggest universal questions to ask in developing an idea, e.g.: What do I need to know to develop the idea? What is the present state of the idea? How important is this idea as opposed to some other idea? What ideas are similar to this idea, how are they similar, why are they similar, and in what measure are they similar? What ideas, on the contrary, are in some sense or degree different from, or opposite or contradictory to, this idea? What are the different ways or directions in which I might develop this idea, and what would be the contrasting values and consequences thereof? Is the idea, now or in essence, simple or has it instead many levels, elements, or dimensions? Where, when, how, and why did the idea originate--whether in the minds of other individuals or in my own mind? What is good and bad about the idea, or how can it be improved upon, corrected, tested, or evaluated? What do I know about this idea and what is my visible or potential ignorance of it? In developing this idea, what should come first--or what plan should I adopt? How easy will it be to develop this idea or how readily is it developing? What is typical and unusual about the idea? What is the basic and complete structure of the idea? How will this idea be received by other persons, or what must I do to communicate, explain, defend, or sell the idea? How might other people help me to develop the idea? How far can or should the idea be developed? Into what other ideas does this idea branch or diverge, and what other ideas branch or converge into this idea? What is the total network of ideas of which this idea is a part or in the static or living matrix of which this idea has meaning? What set of hierarchies of higher and lower ideas does this idea belong to? What other ideas can this idea be transformed into (or be produced by transformations of), and what are the rules for effecting such transformations or derivations? What is the 'theory' behind this idea --what assumptions or postulates does it make, what axioms does it use, what are its constraints, etc? What other questions do I need to ask and answer in developing this idea?
What are all of the generic and specific ways in which any and all ideals and goods can or might be, are being, or have been: served, maximized, evolved, infinitized, or corrected?
Some of the generic ways in which a specific ideal (the ideal of democracy in America) could be advanced are, for example, by: Strengthening its foundations; Encouraging its development; Eliminating its defects; Inhibiting or modifying its antagonists; Clarifying its nature or developing its theory; Increasing its breadth of exemplification; Facilitating its effects; Etc.
By ideals may simply be meant human goods, or potential states of perfection of same.
Among the many ways in which ideonomy might advance such ideals are by: Reconciling them; Combining or unifying their pursuit; Helping to determine or develop the material things that do, will, or can advance them; Dramatizing their richness of meaning and centrality; Evolving man's image or understanding of them; Optimally channeling their expression or pursuit; Envisioning their progressive and ultimate realization; Systematically creating and promoting all possible or necessary methods for their achievement; Learning how to actually simulate the ideals--or their possible worldly realizations--on a computer, and then enabling experimentation upon them; Etc.
Dramatize Ideas and Facts
Ideas and facts in themselves can often seem rather dull or even meaningless. Their implications need to be pointed out, the ways in which they originated need to be indicated, they need to be compared and contrasted with other ideas and facts, emphasizing their very limitations may paradoxically heighten their interest, describing their actual or potential dynamics or life in the world can increase their apparent meaning enormously, showing the great chains of ideas or facts that converge to or diverge from them can show the stories that are unfolding in, as, or through them, their possible importance for man should be highlighted, how they function within the mind can be profitably suggested, the great and even infinite meta- structures of all ideas and facts--or of all things--to which they belong should be determined or implied, they can be depicted within divergent scenarios of events, etc. The dramatization of ideas and facts can be accomplished in these and other ways, and ideonomy can greatly contribute to the process.
What is it that is surprising about given ideas or facts? What is more and less important about them--and why? What do they do--or could they do?
What are the most dramatic ways to define or explain ideas or facts--and why are they the most dramatic?
What are all of the reasons for dramatizing ideas and facts? What are all of the costs of not dramatizing them, or of dramatizing them wrongly?
What are the best and most exemplary dramatizations that already exist or in intellectual history?
What graphics, ideograms, mental technology, etc exist or could be developed to serve or maximize the dramatization of facts and ideas or the infinite drama of thought?
Ignorance can have many bad effects: It can lessen caution or breed hubris; It can give rise to or perpetuate blind spots; It can mean that thought or conduct are riddled with faulty and dangerous assumptions; It can generate other ignorance or protect itself; It can blunt the appetite for discovery and innovation; It can produce premature closure of, and an overreliance upon, scientific theories; It can trigger defective models in other areas based upon analogies; It can cause problems to be underestimated or misdiagnosed; It can warp the foci of research; It can make shallow knowledge seem deep and deep knowledge seem shallow; It can lead to many errors and misconceptions; Etc.
If the structure and basic functioning of the human mind can be determined, brilliant light will immediately be thrown on the kingdom of ignorance in which we all reside, and notice will be served to the obscurantic foolocracy that has ruled the world since the dawn of civilization-often in the guise of civilization. For ignorance is at bottom not a static or finite thing, but rather a living entity that maintains itself, propagates, evolves, and competes with knowledge. Ideonomy is one of several new sciences that together may lead to such a revolutionary reconceptualization and clarification of ignorance, even in our day. In other words, we need to-build comprehensive computer models, or mechanical equivalents, not only of the human mind and human knowledge but of human (or organic) ignorance and stupidity; we must come to know unknowing.
Ideonomy can ultimately be used to define the structure--at once architectural and cellular-of all possible knowledge, and implicit in that structure will also be the structure of all possible and actual ignorance.
The new science of ideas can help more generally with the systematic asking and answering of such fundamental questions about ignorance as: How identical or analogous--and different or divergent--in form, elements, or behavior is the ignorance of different persons? What is the cascade of ignorance that is fundamentally inextinguishable and universal? Where ignorance obtains, what characteristic clues are there of its existence? What are all of the types and sums of costs of all forms of ignorance? What is the best way, or what might be alternative ways, to define given types of ignorance? What little accidents or errors can cause effective ignorance to grow very rapidly? What factors can indirectly amplify or compensate for the effects of ignorance? Are there instances where 'ignorance' has to do something equivalent to--transitively or intransitively--'percolating through and out of a matrix'; and if so, what are some examples of this phenomenon? How can different types of ignorance be exchanged for one another in solving a problem? Where one's ignorance of something is irreducible, what are the best ways of arranging or treating that ignorance in solving given or generic problems or in accomplishing tasks?
What is the totality of our ignorance about a specific thing? What is the totality of our ignorance about our ignorance? What bad habits perpetuate ignorance and how can they be stopped? How can we study ignorance that obtains in one field in order to discover, understand, and oust ignorance in some other field that may or may not be related to it? What ignorance do we regularly teach or adhere to with the worst dogmatism? Which types of ignorance can we eliminate now or could we hasten the extinction of, and which per contra would resist or prove indifferent to our impatience? In what segments of society, or institutions, are various forms of ignorance ensconced? Which forms or portions of ignorance are enculturated and which are enorganic? What hierarchies, networks, rings, cycles, fractals, trees, convergences, and other meta-structures of ignorance are there? Etc.
Illustrative ways of defining almost any type or instance of ignorance are by: Elimination (systematically excluding the things it is not or it does not involve); Its effects; Its causes; Context; Assimilating or contrasting it to other ignorance; Referring to its separate or related elements; Discussing or imagining extreme or the most perfect forms of it; Mentioning its essence; Characterizing its opposite; Limning its range of occurrence; Etc.
Examples of universal genera of ignorance include GENERIC IGNORANCE OF: Age, Definition, Defect; Value, use, or importance; Law, Ending, Essential nature, Change, Paradox, Mechanism, Etc.
Under each of these genera various sub-generic taxons of ignorance await identification, and once identified they will have great value in further differentiating, defining, anticipating, and removing ignorance through the whole of physico-mental reality.
Thus under "generic ignorance about AGE" one might recognize sub-generic ignorance of or about: Absolute age, Relative age; Quantitative age, Qualitative age; Actual age, Virtual age; Ages of parts, Ages of aspects, Ages of functions; Etc. Or about: Meaning of age, Importance of age; How to measure, learn, investigate, or define age; Manifestations of age; Etc.
Notice that many of these so-called sub-genera of ignorance occur as natural pairs; as co-sub-genera, if you will, or as sub-sub-genera.
Moreover, other distinctions regarding such taxons need to be specified and discussed. For "sub-generic ignorance about-relative age", for example, one could distinguish AGE RELATIVE TO: Natural or predicted life-span or half- life; Other things of the thing's type, species, genus, or analogical group (or relative to the norms); Time remaining until 'death' or termination; Time remaining or that must lapse before some future event, date, or point; Etc.
What exist under or in connection with each such genus of ignorance, in other words, and what need to be discovered, named, defined, investigated, mapped, exploited, etc, are : various finite and infinite series, chains, hierarchies, networks, circuitries, trees, constellations, etc of : sub- dimensions and co-dimensions of ignorance, groups of concepts, decisions, operations, representations, examples, criteria, advice, problems, needs, etc.
Among the regularly recurring bases, sources, and causes of ignorance are: Prejudice; Miseducation; Unbreakable desire; Confounding of different or unrelated things; Mischievous assumptions; Fallacies; Lack of appropriate experience; Unconcern with reality-absence of incentives for discovering truths, proving things, or investigating facts or phenomena; Ignorance of the bases, sources, and causes of ignorance (sic); Ignorance of what is already known; Self-ignorance; Ignorance of the possible or actual extent of ignorance; Ignorance of ,the many different forms of knowledge that are possible, in general or about specific things; Imperfect differentiation or understanding of the realm of concepts; Etc.:
We need to survey all that we may be ignorant of. By way of illustration, examples of ignorance or of things about which we are profoundly ignorant include: Disease, Any inherited knowledge, and Age of the primate family Hominidae, to which man and his ancestors belong (in BIOLOGY); Existence in nature of fractional electrical charges, Whether protons ultimately undergo spontaneous radioactive decay, and How to solve N-body problems for any value of N(in PHYSICS); Degree of unconscious human communication, Psychogenetic laws, and Absolute inefficiency of the human mind (in PSYCHOLOGY); Truth of Fermat's Last Theorem, Absolute overcomplexity and simplifiability of mathematics, and Whether the irrational number p ultimately repeats itself (in MATHEMATICS); What the biggest endogenous earthquakes (megaloseisms) have been in the history of Earth, Motor of continental drift, and What the mechanism of booming dunes is (in GEOLOGY); Whether the universe as a whole is rotating, What the nature of most matter in the universe is, and How stable the Sun has been over the history of the Solar System (in ASTRONOMY); Whether the social sciences can be transformed into predictive disciplines, Whether capital punishment is right or wrong, and Whether mathematical "chaos" contributes in a major way to global economic fluctuations (in the SOCIAL SCIENCES); Etc.
We also need to analyze all such examples of ignorance into their components of related and unrelated ignorance, for many or all of them are apt to prove complex, and confusion will inevitably arise if the parts, cofactors, senses, sub-dimensions, etc of the ignorance are not ferreted out and confronted.
Thus man's ignorance of disease includes ignorance about: What the smallest and largest diseases are, What the fastest and slowest diseases are, What the biological and geographic reservoirs of contagions are (over secular time), What the most and least specific diseases are, What good diseases do or whether there are essentially good diseases or these are as numerous and important as the bad ones, What the ultimate extinguishability or inextinguishability of human diseases are, What the gamut of the body's mechanisms for fighting disease is, Extent to which human individuals have their 'own' diseases or kinds of 'health', Etc.
Similarly, ignorance about "any inherited knowledge" at the very least includes ignorance of or about its: Reality, Probability; Absolute degree, Relative degree, and Limitation; Bases and Non-bases; Roles and Non-roles (behavioral, perceptual, mental, psychic, etc); Content and Non-content; Generality and Specificity; Diversity; Structure, Simplicity, and Complexity; Implications and Non-implications; Proper representations and Misrepresentations; Ambiguities and Deterministic effects; Stabilities, Variabilities, Transspecificity (transcendence of biological species), and Evolutionary tree; Etc.
Such breakdowns for specific examples of ignorance can, through analogy, have heuristic and pedagogic value in connection with any and all other instances of ignorance.
A profoundly similar thing that needs to be done for all examples of ignorance is that all relevant hypotheses-and speculations about them need to be systematically and canonically advanced. That is, once we cease to be ignorant about such things, what diverse forms might our transcendent knowledge have? Such ideas can be valuable in many ways, e.g.: They can begin to 'soften up' our ignorance, or give us a better appreciation of what it does and does not mean, or of what it requires for its resolution; They can dramatize the absolute and comparative value of eliminating the ignorance; They can give us criteria for knowledge about the things; They can help with the discover of other, subordinate or related, forms of ignorance; They can prevent mistakes having to do with the unconscious simultaneous or substitutive pursuit of different forms of ignorance; They can give us questions to ask and problems to solve, by way of resolving the ignorance; Etc.
Take, for instance, our ignorance about what Earth's "smallest organism" may be. It forces us to speculate about: Whether there can be 'fractional organisms', and what they might mean; Whether the genome itself may in some sense be an organism, and what corollaries that would have; Whether, similarly, the compresent chromosomes of a genome are likewise biontic, and might per se compete; Whether pure protein molecules (à la the imagined "prion") can be self-reproducing and organismal; Whether in any sense there are 'virtual bionts' that 'exist or are alive' merely implicitly within the population of a species or the bios (a decidedly weird, but not impossible, thought); Whether something equivalent to an organism or life can exist in a rather immaterial sense, or as dynamical patterns or-'pure' information sent, flowing, or held between orthodox organisms; Etc.
Merely imagining what our ignorance may be can expand the human mind; it can lead to heuristic imagery, new modes of thought, and revealing gedankenexperiments; and it can quicken the appetite for discovery in both young and old. Moreover, it can breed that humility which is so important to the opening up, and the opening out, of reality.
Take ignorance about unheard sounds. The universe must be full of types of sounds that have never been heard by the human race. Such sounds might be extremely important and interesting, and it is worth considering what might be the totality of the noises, what their sources might range over, and what we would hear if we could, in some sense, perceive them: as technological intelligence presumably one day will indeed be able to. After all, the inconceivably vast or even infinite symphony or orchestra that nature represents may never really be altogether understood until we discern all of its notes, instruments, and passages in their collective singularity. For these and other reasons the ideonomist seeks to imagine all possible sensa, percepts, and forms of existence, and to lay the theoretical and technical bases for their ultimate perceptibility.
What, then, might the following unheard sounds be like? What might they tell us about the universe-and ourselves? What role might they play in nature? Of course, some of the would-be sounds may be negligible or nonexistent. But even that negative information may be of interest. Also, non-sonic analogs of the naughts may exist; and there can of course be value in gedankenexperiments involving impossible things.
Unheard sounds of: A collision of two galaxies (or the susurrus of the entire universe of colliding and flowing galaxies and fermenting hyperclusters of galaxies); Feeding bacterium; Growing plant (the chittering stomata have already been tuned into by ever- inquisitive man, who has found them of immediate value to agricultural science and technology); Aurora; Fissioning of an atom; Dissolution of a cirrus cloud; Interior of the atomic nucleus (wherein the equivalent of sounds has indeed recently been discovered); Pollen grains returning at last to Earth's surface; From other stars, propagating to our planet through the almost infinitely tenuous galactic atmosphere; Cosmic Big Bang (the universe may still be resonating); Growth of a crystal; Blood in capillaries; Lunar tides; Orogeny (the sounds of whole mountain ranges abuilding); Macromolecule's resonance timbre; Electrical current in a wire; Pulsar; Locomoting snail; Chemical reaction (say a very quiet one, very locally, or at extreme frequencies); Falling raindrop (in transit); Drifting dandelion seed; Drying mud; 23rd harmonics (of diverse things); Sun's interior; The deepest sounds in the cosmos; Infinitely complex sounds; Ocular microsaccades; Man's body expanding on a hot day; Ants spelunking in their nest; Atmospheric boom caused by a cosmic-ray shower; Disintegrating sand grain; Floodwaters percolating deep into the earth; Popping noises made by photons crashing into objects at dawn; Sounds emerging from aerial interferences of sounds, where superposition fails; Occasional sounds resulting from the mightiest quantum-mechanical vacuum fluctuations anywhere in the universe at a given moment; Etc.
An ideonomic analysis of such a list of unheard sounds could in turn suggest diverse: unseen sights, unfelt emotions, unsmelled odors, untasted tastes, unsuspected sensa of unsuspected human or 'subhuman'. senses, nonbiologiqal sensory technology, obscure aspects of human cognition and ideation, exotic natural phenomena and processes, etc.
Attempts to survey all of the specific examples of things that we are ignorant of IN THE SENSE OF A PARTICULAR GENUS OF IGNORANCE can be stimulating and enlightening in no less complex a way.
Thus our "generic ignorance of the smallest things" includes an ignorance of the smallest: Organism (in the proper or cellular sense); Virus, viroid, pathogen, or 'genome'; Star, or stars in different stellar classes; Biological species--population or biont, now or ever (in various taxonomic groups, e.g. birds, insects, plants, and bacteria); Planet in the Solar System; Comets (cometesimals); Nebulas; Galaxies; Cosmic photons (i.e. the most energetic; record as of ~1986 = 10 exp 34.4Hz = 10 exp -26m = 10 exp 20eV); 'Particle' of 'matter'--or physical quantum; Occurrence of ball lightning (pea-size balls are on record, but they are not apt to be the smallest of all); Possible molecules in certain molecular classes; Sunspots; Etc.
Of course the list will be much vaster if small is taken to refer not just to size (length) but to figurative senses of small as well.
The smallest versions of things may be of interest for a variety of reasons: They may relate to the evolutionary or developmental origins of the thing; They may suggest the essence of the thing-in part by eliminating redundancy, confusing complexity, and unnecessary elements; They may offer the revealing behavior that often appears at extremese.g. in extreme forms of things, at extreme internal or external dimensions, or in extreme regimes; They may exhibit the thing when it is behaving at an extreme rate; They may show what the thing is like when it is so reduced that the environment can easily perturb it, or even its spontaneous internal fluctuations or events are able to noticeably perturb it; They may enable the nature of the thing to be manifested when the thing is at the limits of its stability, and displays a tendency to become other things, to intergrade with what it is not, or to oscillate out of existence and back in again; They may involve or suggest the unitary elements or phenomena out of which the larger versions of the thing are built up by multiplication, combination, specialization, cooperative interaction, etc; They may test hypothetical criteria for the thing's existence that in turn test, or discriminate between, different theories as to the thing's nature, mechanisms, or possibilities; They may show what the thing is when it is a hybrid with, or overlaps, something else; They may clarify the thing by bounding its quantitative range; Etc.
A few of the many types of ignorance that are possible should be mentioned: Complex ignorance; Co-ignorance (ignorance that is a function of, or that can only exist interdependently with, other ignorance); lso-ignorance (ignorance that is identical to other ignorance); Homo-ignorance (ignorance that, though not identical to other ignorance, is nonetheless similar, analogous, equivalent, homologous, or 'related' to it); Post-ignorance (ignorance that persists beyond-or comes or can only come to light after-the resolution of other ignorance); Meta-ignorance (ignorance about ignorance itself); Super-ignorance (higher types of ignorance that include or 'correspond to' particular or lower types of ignorance); Sub-ignorance (ignorance contained in, part of, or reducible to other ignorance); Mero- ignorance (ignorance of a part or of part of a thing); Quasi-ignorance (ignorance-that is unnecessary or illusory because the required knowledge already unknowedly exists somewhere, is implicit in or easily derived from existing knowledge, principles, or laws, or is self-evident); Pseudo- ignorance (supposed, apparent, or imaginable ignorance that is spurious because the thing of which knowledge is assumed to be possible is in reality unknowable, nonexistent, impossible, vacuous, meaningless, or simply misrepresented or absent); Pre-ignorance (ignorance that is known, or that can be known, to exist even before one actually knows or examines a thing); Para-ignorance (ignorance that is, can be, or often is mistaken for other ignorance that is similar, quasi-similar, near, or related to itoften harmfully); Etc.
Ideonomy can help to develop the appropriate vocabulary for such types of ignorance and for treating ignorance generally.
Let one of those types of ignorance referred to - namely "Complex ignorance" - be illustrated by various interrelated examples of "ignorance of the primary force of biological. evolution", or by ignorance of: The meaning of, or what is meant by, "force"; What the "force" includes; What the "force" excludes; What is meant here by "ignorance"; What is meant here by, or what should be the meaning of, "the"; The total number of 'forces'; What is intended by, or the possible meanings of, "primary"; The direction in which the force must be moving life; The direction or origin from which the force must be moving life; The presumptive hierarchy of forces; All the actual and possible different hierarchies of forces--and their relations to 'the' hierarchy; How the primary force presumably operates; How to sum infinitesimal force components; How one could test the existence of the force; How to test the primacy of the force; The force's causes; The force's effects; Etc.
Life is ringed, overlain, underlain, pervaded, driven, distorted, needlessly complicated, and limited by illusions. Ideonomy can help one shatter all of them.
To understand the extent of illusions in life and the world, consider the case of a man who awakes from his dreams in the early morning and gazes about his room as he lies in bed.
In his supinity he notices his shadowed closet opposite, and succumbs to the illusion that its darkness is absolute, whereas in fact all of its contents framed by the door would appear brilliantly illuminated if only the man were equipped with a device for amplifying the light and imagery that are there.
The privacy of his bedroom seems total, and yet in reality sounds and vibrations from neighboring apartments flood his own, and the sounds of his own first stirrings are radiating into those quarters in turn.
The ceiling above and the walls around give the illusion that the room exhausts and represents the entire universe. The room's quiet and stillness masks the noisy bustle of the external city, and also gives the illusion that time is frozen in the present moment.
The apparent uniqueness of the man's room is belied by the fact that the subjacent and superjacent apartments are identical in architectural design.
Similarly the uniqueness of the moment is a deception, for over the cycles of the days the man has endlessly reawoken in the same position, at the same time, and with the same thoughts.
Moreover, apart from superficial differences, people all over the Earth have woken up to the same illusion since the beginning of time, are doing so that very morning, and will continue to do so for mornings beyond number. Indeed, much the same may be true across the entire universe, or in other universes or infinite cycles of universes.
The man looks up and left and right, and thinks of all of these directions as absolute and universal, when actually they are just relative and local.
The poor man likewise suffers from the illusion that what appears to be happening must certainly be happening, when it is perfectly possible that he has not yet emerged from a particularly realistic dream.
Ideonomy can suggest the vast number of possible sources and forms of evidence, truth, and experience; and these in turn can indirectly be used to suggest the vast number of possible and actual sources and forms of illusion, since the latter can spring from aberrations and defects of, and misunderstandings about, the former.
Before one can pierce illusions, one must take into account--or discover and analyze--all of the illusions that may or do exist, in general or in a particular situation.
Among the various ways of doing this are: By considering the finite and recurring types of causes, bases, and sources of illusion; By elaborating the detailed processes and mechanisms of types of illusion deemed relevant; By consulting schemes that classify, distinguish, define, and characterize all types and taxa of illusions; By comparing a given situation with other situations that may be associated with illusions, and seeking analogies and differences that might throw light on the kind of illusion to expect; Etc.
Illusions are very persistent: they reinforce one another and disguise each other's existence; by their existence they can weaken the very mechanism that would detect them; when they exist they are apt to exist many times over or in great multiplicity, which can make their recognition and treatment much more difficult; because illusions are usually thought of as being 'negative' things, attention to them is discounted, or their resolution is apt to be given low priority by the community of scientists and scholars; illusions may be complex, compound, or subject to 'uncertainty principles', and attempts to come to terms with them may induce their seeming or actual mutation or encounter other paradoxical effects; the fundamental problem may not be the illusions themselves but the fundamental mechanisms that give rise to them in the first place, and these may be extraordinarily resistant to treatment or understanding; etc.
Imagination can be valuable, but it is apt to be much less valuable, or even detrimental, if it lacks discipline or appropriate discipline. Much of the criticism of imagination that one encounters in fact probably does not refer to what is intrinsically wrong with imagination itself but rather to errors and shortcomings of imaginative practice.
Commonly imagination is: unmethodical, unsystematic , undirected, aimless and planless, superficial, incomplete, uninformed, random, perfunctory (sic), irrational, inefficient and wasteful, misdirected, frivolous, desultory, static, naive, primitive, too narrow, idiosyncratic, self-ignorant (ignorant of its own source, mechanism, products, possibilities, or powers), wrongly antagonistic to or neglectful of other forms of cognition (or of itself), etc.
To really free or discipline imagination, to give it its full potential power, to perfect its role in the world, to train it to the ultimate, etc, something like ideonomy may be necessary.
Often what is meant by imagination is simply unconscious, casual, or accidental exploration of idea-spaces or of the universe of ideas (ideocosm); or a mere hint or glimpse of the latter things. But th actual revolution promised by the thorough harnessing of imagination has yet to begin and remains la.rgely unanticipated.
Ideonomy can aid imagination by: Helping one to visualize new or alien situations; Anticipating surprises and predefining possible anomalies; Indicating and systematizing all possible bases for analogies; Facilitating the modeling and simulation of things; Triggering gedankenexperiments; Releasing the power of paradoxes; Challenging orthodoxy; Increasing the basic elements available for the generation of ideas through the combination, permutation, transformation, and interaction of such elements; Rigorously defining and interrelating the canonical dimensions of and for thought; Defining and characterizing the diapason of human needs, wants, abilities, phenomena, and possibilities; Furnishing new methods, tools, materials, and other resources for the discovery, invention, development, perfection, transformation, combination, management, and exploitation of any and all things; Asking questions, raising problems, and stimulating thoughts that are new and important; Falsifying our notions about what is and is not possible; Amplifying man's curiosity about and appetite for something more and higher; Enriching awareness of the infinite interrelations and interconnections of things; Intensifying the public discussion of what is possible; Training the human mind to control and enlarge itself in every way; Illustrating via specific cases the extremes to which imagination, or the imaginative treatment of things, can go; Etc.
Help One Know What Is Important
Ideonomy can help one to know what is important, or most important, wherever there are many: needs, wants, values, alternatives, ideals, possibilities, philosophies, methods, practices, actors, conflicts or contradictions, senses or types of things, abilities, uses of things, systems, concepts, combinations of things, permutations of things, facts or ignorances, goals or purposes, courses or paths, beliefs, arguments, problems, dimensions or factors, interdependences, stages, transformations, paradoxes, rules, fundamentals, resources, different representations of or perspectives upon things, alternative circumstances, etc.
It can do this by: Systematizing all of-the diverse and universal senses, ways, and degrees in which things are or may be important; Correlating, or showing how to correlate, all forms of importance with one another; Depicting the ways in which the importance of things can or may originate, develop, consummate, change or be modulated, fade, and end; Showing all the different courses things could take or outcomes they could have; Enabling one to look at arbitrary things in maximally different ways or from all possible perspectives; Maximizing the number of different considerations that can figure in the analysis of a thing, or the largeness of one's perspective upon it; Showing how to distinguish, separate, and partition different factors and aspects when analyzing a thing or its situation; Suggesting all of the different things that things may be important for or in terms of; Criticizing the supposed importance of things, say by highlighting their defects, limitations, and fallacies; Elaborating and comparing arguments for the importance of things; Simplifying or cutting through complex situations to reveal that which is fundamental or essential; Etc.
Imaginary illustrations of the determinable importance of specific things: Topological patterns or transitions to mathematical chaos might turn out to be that which is critical to the onset of a heart attack; Previous cycles of the universe might prove to be critical to the current form of the universe, if the latter is oscillatory; Certain childhood experiences might turn out to be necessary for the development in the adult of even certain organic forms of schizophrenia; Probably only a tiny subset of the innumerable things that have been hypothesized to cause or influence the occurrence of earthquakes will ultimately be shown to actually be important; Certain sets of changes in the course (fabric) of a musical composition may prove to be that which is critical to its meaning or simple musicality; Frequent touching of a baby's body by an external agent during a stage of the infant's development may turn out to be decisive for the attainment of physical and mental health and maturity in later life; The stability of an entire ecosystem might turn out to be overwhelmingly dependent upon the reciprocal fluctuations of the populations of just two species; The evolutionary augmentation of animalian to human intelligence might be found to have largely been the result of the sudden emergence of a new neurotransmitter system; The sunspot cycle might turn out to be the product of an unsuspected form of behavior or interaction of elementary particles; Life may have started on Earth only because there was immense prior evolution of organic molecules in interstellar space; The course of international affairs may be extraordinarily sensitive to uxorial views and ukase; Abnormal abundance of a particular radioisotope in the interior of the Earth may have made our planet unusually active and rich geologically; Etc.
The importance of knowing what is important includes: Further costly search for what is important may be unnecessary; One need no longer feel anxiety over the possibility that one is in fact ignorant of or mistaken about what is important or critical; Resources may be concentrated upon what is important; Priorities may be established; Lesser matters may be subordinated to, or arranged around, what is important; Other things may be compared with, and interpreted in terms of, what is important; Often everything else may be ignored altogether; Etc.
Things may be important in a variety of senses and ways, or as: causes, concauses or cofactors, constraints, limits, triggers, organizers, clues, precursors, sources of continuity, transformers, sources of energy, material needs; sources of problems, errors, or defects; bases of stability; destroyers; models; links or bridges; nodes or centers; boundaries, measures, reserves, criterions, tests, laws or essences, sources of disturbance, matrices or niches, origins, destinations, basic patterns, equilibria, etc.
Much of science remains purely phenomenological or descriptive, ignorant of or uninterested in causes, mechanisms, fundamentals, laws, invariants, universals, processes, necessities, raisons d'etre, forces, evolutionary tendencies, syntheses, etc.
As knowledge accumulates or even grows exponentially, the world becomes ever more complex and integrated, the interests of science and man multiply, civilization becomes more artificial and fragile, etc, the need to know what is most and truly important--and to know it at once, certainly, and comprehensively--soars.