02 June 2011

Insignificance, Knowledge and Truth

I remember when there was a furore about wikipedia, which now seems years and years ago, that went along the lines of ... but anyone can add to it, so it can't be an authoritative source, it can't be knowledge, can it?

This made me think of a play called Insignificance which I'd heard on the radio (rather than the link to the film). In the play, I particularly remember the following exchange:

The Actress: I only said I knew, because you said you knew.
The Professor: I lied. Knowledge isn't truth. It's just mindless agreement. You agree with me, I agree with someone else - we all have knowledge. We haven't come any closer to the truth. You can never understand anything by agreeing, by making definitions. Only by turning over the possibilities. That's called thinking. If I say I know, I stop thinking. As long as I keep thinking, I come to understand. That way, I might approach some truth.

I thought of this again when one of the conspiraloons posted a note mocking two 'Wonkers' who are promulgating a knowledge struggle. They are spending a great deal of time and trouble following a servileservice intellectual career trying to persuade all and sundry that 'conspiracy theorists' bears some pejorative meaning.

Incredible that they squander their talents and pages of national newspapers on such a pointless and pathetic pursuit of mindless agreement.


  1. Incredible, and a little tragic.

    They should be out buying nice clothes in Carnaby street, high fiving and drinking bottled beer in front of the football like normal people.

    Why are these young men wasting their prime worrying about CT?

  2. Failing that, they could try doing something useful.
    There is something terribly wrong with the supply and demand arrangements in the information economy

  3. The peculiar phenomenon gives a sense that "the centre cannot hold".

  4. Shouldn't it be the actress & the bishop? ;-)