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on science and technology: the purpose of knowing

the sense of being

wikipedia images. 1, christian search for god 2, the european water witching in the middle ages


c.1300, "knowledge (of something) acquired by study," also "a particular branch of knowledge," from O.Fr. science, from L. scientia "knowledge," from sciens (gen. scientis), prp. of scire "to know," probably originally "to separate one thing from another, to distinguish," related to scindere "to cut, divide," from PIE base *skei- (cf. Gk. skhizein "to split, rend, cleave," Goth. skaidan, O.E. sceadan "to divide, separate;" see shed (v.)). Modern sense of "non-arts studies" is attested from 1670s. The distinction is commonly understood as between theoretical truth (Gk. episteme) and methods for effecting practical results (tekhne), but science sometimes is used for practical applications and art for applications of skill. Main modern (restricted) sense of "body of regular or methodical observations or propositions ... concerning any subject or speculation" is attested from 1725; in 17c.-18c. this concept commonly was called philosophy. To blind (someone) with science "confuse by the use of big words or complex explanations" is attested from 1937, originally noted as a phrase from Australia and New Zealand.


O.E. cnawan (class VII strong verb; past tense cneow, pp. cnawen), from P.Gmc. *knoeanan (cf. O.H.G. bi-chnaan, ir-chnaan "to know"), from PIE base *gno- "to know" (cf. O.Pers. xšnasatiy "he shall know;" O.C.S. znati, Rus. znat "to know;" L. gnoscere; Gk. *gno-, as in gignoskein; Skt. jna- "know"). Once widespread in Germanic, this form is now retained only in English, where however it has widespread application, covering meanings that require two or more verbs in other languages (e.g. Ger. wissen, kennen, erkennen and in part können; Fr. connaître, savoir; L. novisse, cognoscere; O.C.S. znaja, vemi

The Anglo-Saxons used two distinct words for this, witan (see wit) and cnawan. Meaning "to have sexual intercourse with" is attested from c.1200, from the O.T. To not know one's ass from one's elbow is from 1930. To know better "to have learned from experience" is from 1704. You know as a parenthetical filler is from 1712, but it has roots in 14c.

science and knowledge in practice

"there are no rules for leaping into the new, because no one has ever been there before." –sister mary corita

the search for knowledge about something suggests the absence of that something, be it known but absent, such as looking for water or food; or hypothetical, imagined thing, like god or the origin of the universe. sister corita got out of the habit of the order of immaculate heart of mary considering, that the artist’s apron offered her to reach more hearts through her art. and true enough, she is more known as an artist, promoting peace. but like most artists, mary corita, too, reached the rich people’s drawing rooms, and not hearts. for if they did, there would not be rich. like every art school trained artist, she was led to believe that artists and their art have nothing to do with the division of classes. it enables them to ignore the fact, that all forms of art are created for the rich. artist does not create anything for the poor as there is no name and money in it. the division of classes is created by the rich, for without the poor there would be no justification for their being rich. the distinction is created solely for the ideological sense of the rich to be superior. it is neither a biological necessity nor a proof of knowledge based living. if anything, it rather shows the lack of knowing when enough is enough.

as the word: rich<reich<rex hides the imperial status of the upper class, the word: science ups the knowledge of the intellectual. for even the scientist may only know, he does not science things. science is not a verb. hence, in the laboratories, physical or mental, scientists strive to know things basing upon the hypothesis or pure speculation. in the theoretical science it is mostly the latter, for it is more who thinks so, than upon what ground, for, in the theory of the moment before the big bang, there was no ground to base the thought on.

eco-centrically what one human person perceives is discernable to every other human person given similar resources. nobody is nature’s step-child. among the siblings, not each and every one is identically the same, not even the twins, if not conjoined like the siamese twins being born in the same instance. so every minute difference in time also matters, especially when the cosmos accommodates both the creatures with snail’s pace as well as light moving with the speed that is standard bearer in the conventional world of physics. and even the speed of light is not the fastest as the saying goes: “mind moves faster than the light.’

this difference amounts to the different patterns of the stripes on zebras and markings on the whales’ tails. nature, like parents provides for every one of its children, each one musing with the different pattern seen in each kaleidoscope made in the same mould. or it is like the wild array of colourful forms of flowers in meadows attracting as many different butterflies and bees. this difference, whether in forms or pursuits of preference is to keep the parents and parentally nature from bestowing the comparative favours upon one child over the other.

uniformity is not in nature’s form and function of interdependence, all dancing the dance of the ecocentric steps in tuned with the cosmic rhythm. the difference is created where one dances, whether in a dance hall or in an auditorium, for in the former one’s movements arise from one’s own instincts of the moment guided with the awareness of the steps of one’s partner’s and theirs with the all others’ steps. the dance hall is for dancing. the latter, the auditorium is all concerned with showing off how well one dances. so there is the fixed form of motions that the dancers rehearse under the watching gaze of the dance director, who, too, does this to show off his dictatorial skill. this is the staged performance. there, the motivational force is to win applaud of the watching eyes; and one’s dance partner, too, makes moves as rehearsed, having no personal feeling for one’s dance mate.

uniformity is the creation of man finding comfort in the cocoon woven with the fiber of the familiar yarn. it is the outlook of an overprotected child who is crippled with the ready access to things of its parents’ choice. raised thus, the rich adult expects to be served, and inadvertently renders one’s limbs and organs useless. the poor’s child thus grows up overusing its body, and kept its perceptive senses non functional. such is the state of being of populace, whether it is governed by the royalty or the royalty by its current name, the rich< reich< rex: royal.

habit is but things done in excess, and excessive use of limbs and organs renders dull the sense of feeling. it makes one want to crave for more to acquire that missing feeling of the satisfaction. it is thus that the rich desire to keep getting richer, and the poor keep straining to a breaking point, neither ever knowing when enough is enough.

professions and professionals are motions and movers’ habits. a repeated motion may make them expert of certain thing or thought or action in particular, but the very expertise also renders them immune to the ability to change, which is new. the common effect of this is the generation gap, in which the new generation views the older one to be stuck in tradition known with different names, the classical, the academic, scientific, and so on.

purpose of knowing

the need to know precedes the process of knowing. depending upon the nature of the need, the process requires mere following the time tied instructions or the path of trial and error, when the needs are for the known, but the known means are not available.

competitive mode of education also implants the knowledge, that one must win the esteem of the judge, the teacher, that later on puts on the garbs of employer, be it private or public, governmental. and the kindergarten perception still at work makes one to please the new teacher, in the various capacities ranging from improvising the broom to the drone powered warfare. the theoretical science is not science but mere musing over the unknown, much the same as the religious thinking is about the unknown called god. the god particle of the scientists is proving to be as illusive to the ivy league professional thinkers as is the belief in god to the devout religious. in both these camps the ultimate source, the big bang or god has so far not emerged from the unconvincing thought. ages ago, the vedic thinkers had rejected all such thoughts by saying: “neti, neti.” not that, not that.

sometimes, the problem is not clearly perceived, and even before the question is fully formed, the rush is for the answer to the yet not understood question. theoretical science is by definition a theory, a thought out knowledge of the unknown. a thought about something is not necessarily the fact. it may be so, it may not be so. what makes a theory into a science is not the interesting or compelling theory, but who presents it. and that makes for the rushed up, albeit temporary “scientific truths” of the moment. the rushed up theory then progresses into the rush for reaching the goal. in search for god there are the jewish, buddhist, hindu, christian, islamic and primitive forms laid out as paths to unite with god; in scientific search for the god particle, there are technological experiments to smash the atom to find the core, and space gazing, etc, each laboratory proposed by its proponent theorist, and they, too, do not see eye to eye with each other, much the same as the various religious thinkers do not. despite all the tremendous efforts in time, mind, energy and material resources spent, the outcome of a given moment is as illusive as before. but the high priests of both religions and scientific theories enjoy high living. it matters not that it is beyond the pale of a person none descript. in the world of knowledge, the person nondescript is anyone and everyone who does not have a say, or has lost his voice in the clutter of megaphone generated by the position of power.

commerce based knowledge is like the old english saying: ‘all is fair in war and love.’ it is just another way of saying, that the end justifies the means. now neither in the story of love or war, the perimeters approaching the end extends beyond the last line of the last page describing the story of love, or war. a much media celebrated love marriage of lady di ended not only in divorce, but also in her tragic death along with her second lover. the element of life extends beyond the limit of the number of words a commercial publisher feels comfortable with in terms of the cost of publishing and the anticipated profit margin. otherwise, as the buddha had verbalized what was a commonsense, that nothing stays the same. impermanence is the characteristic nature of things. now buddha’s perception of impermanence and interdependence is what scientists called constance. what is constant cannot ever be the same. and things exist always interdependently.

except in thought, that is. or in theoretical science or anything thought out, including the ways of life based upon thought, religious or commercially poetical, that is. theoretically, the american way of life, which is so alluring to the people beyond its borders is self sustaining independent way of life based upon science. now that is highly ‘unscientific’ an assumption on part of the american politbureau, for the much of the american “success” story is attributed to its scientific innovations of doing things, including fighting wars thus far. and in scientific circles nobody professes permanence including that of the american hegemony. so, as the saying goes: ‘rome had its day. so as the sun did finally set on the british empire, it will set, too, on the american empire. the poor humans are still a human species, so they will not flock to a dying creature like hyenas, borders or not. that is the knowledge called the instinct. it draws ants to sugar, and enables them to reach to it in an elaborately ingenious way. but this commonsense is not allowed to guide the american way of doing things, at home, in factories or in the whitehouse.

there is the divide between ’science’ and knowledge or between one person or group’s knowledge and that of another person or group. it comes down to: ‘i think so’, ‘i do not think so’, as verbalized by different persons, verbalized in each other’s presence only agreeing to disagree. and the commercial nature of the set up of the mode of educational establishment is such that it enables two differing employees – the experts of each one’s respective theory – to lecture one’s view without resorting to a violent physical fight, in which one might get killed or incapacitated, and the school might lose fees from students of that particular professor. now it is in this sense, that the indian “shasthartha”, the debate was different.

in buddha’s time, all such debates were an established practice, and the winner takes all, was the norm. that is, the two exponents would talk it out in front of their respective followers, and whoever loses one’s argument, then must also see the opponent’s proposed thesis. one of the reasons for this to happen was that the languages, both sanskrit and prakrit (literally the unconstructed, natural) were precise. words uttered conveyed the same meaning for the speaker and the listener. so the talking over the issues did not go on forever, as it is happening now regarding the kashmir and palestine issues. rather, it is the intent of the politician, the preacher, lawyer, the commercial enterprise, and even lovers to not mean what they say, and in the process make the language, the medium of communication incommunicable. and this makes for the use of the weapons of violence to settle the dispute, in which the winner is the one with the most modern weapon of war.

if we have such a practice set in motion in the scientific knowledge, ranging from the nature of universe, to the simplest mundane chore of getting up to go to school, it would have also eliminated the notion of the 6 to 16 schooling, which was carefully planned to maintain the commerce preferred raising of the populace to behave as consumers. it would also change the way of life, social, political, religious and economical.

a word of suggestion to the reader, just in case you wonder, the scientific approach is not different from the buddha’s or gandhian approach, “the experiments in truth”. test it, and check it out. and there you will find out, that, except for the size of your paycheck and the related bills, you are not sleeping any way different from barack obama in his whitehouse bedroom, or bill gate’s or an undead street urchin. the fuss is about the shape and size of bedroom. or about the table manners, for once inside the mouth we all eat and shit alike. it is there, that, nature equanimizes all. yet more, the physical universe is experienced by the five senses, the sense of sight, touch, taste, smell and voice. and the sixth sense develops from the quench. when there is a discord in the sensing, there is the thought arising instead of the sense of knowing.

books of knowledge contain knowledge, that student goes to school to impart from books, and implants into one’s memory, and thus reduces one’s brains into a copy of the book. now a book does not, as it cannot, act upon the knowledge it contains and check whether it is true or false. the highly educated persons of the modern world, too, seem to have been reduced to mere containers of knowledge, like a book or like a library of books. and the movers of the modern world keep on leading both the literate and unlearnt into yet deeper bogs as they are lacking in knowledge of the nature of things.

what stops one from knowing is the fear of losing the known, for the act and the process of knowing being interdependent with the element of life, must always be changing very subtly or in leaps and bounds. and tradition bound person’s limbs and organs are habituated to move only in certain fixed forms, regardless of need. there is no sense of fulfillment awakening the sixth sense to stop the repeated motion, and if needs be, do things differently or in an entirely new way opening up from nothing. but the years of upbringing and then practicing what was taught, the thus conditioned person’s physical existence is harnessed to habits. and habits are stronger than the quivers of new insights. so just as after an extended period of a limb kept in plastered bandage then cannot all of a sudden move normally, and needs to massage and coaxing to overcome the initial pain in making the limb move, the unconditioning process, too, requires the initial pain and suffering to feel free.

fear produces thoughts of safety. its most common form is lying. when one lies, one is knows what is what; one simply does not want others to know one’s part in it. growing up in the society of the lying adults, the children learn to know the uselessness of knowledge.

gothe’ had observed that “it is the property of true genius to disturb all settled ideas.” and mary corita’s: "there are no rules for leaping into the new, because no one has ever been there before." so, one needs no guide to be guided with the known that one needs to leave behind.


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