How I came to ask “How do we know?” and why you should too
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So you’re interested in Big Intelligence. Me too. I’m also interested in it being just conceptual, in being practical but realistic. And that means starting with a question that is also a paradox:
HOW DO WE KNOW?
I’m not talking about brain science here. Knowing is one thing. Knowing that capacitates something that might be called Big Intelligence is another.
I want to tell you how my interest in the question “how do we know?” started. It was a sensation. I came to know of that sensation as chi, or ki, energy. I was practicing martial arts. The point is, it was not just a concept for me. I got it. I was enthralled by my budding awareness of bodily wisdom. It was an apple on the head moment for me.
To me at the time, energetic and curious, barely 19 years old. Studying biology. The profoundness of the feeling was something like this: “the entirety of my body resonates with intelligence.” It’s not just coming from my head. And it’s not just inside of me. The sensation is intelligent and it extends beyond the confines I know as my skin. I had come to think of that as a kind of absolute container, which is a metaphor of how I was experiencing the world to that point.
Fast forward to today. Chi is not my focus. What I did continue to move towards was this question “how do we know,” although I would argue that in the context of Big Intelligence it resonates deeply with that early experience.
Inquiry into “how do we know?” took me into plenty of “heady” territory. Fields of inquiry with specialized languages too. The mysterious quality that I referred to as this sensation I came to learn has many names -- chi, shakti, holy spirit. Yet the sensation, the uncompromising connectedness, between it and my own emerging process of knowing, I just knew, had wide-reaching implications. Bodily felt intelligence informing both the individual and collective experiences we share in being human, in being alive, in being made of stardust.
Early on in my studies, I couldn’t get enough of dynamics. In cellular biology, I delved into morphogenesis. In ecology, it was systems theory. In philosophy, I touched on vitalism. Then the newly emerging field of complexity captured my attention and led me to autocatalytic sets. Finally, and in pretty short order, that brought me to thermodynamics.
I have never liked studying just to study. I was getting to the bottom of something. In 2015 I developed ONT.
I’m often accused of talking beyond people’s comprehension. My goal here is to take a slow walk with you. I want you to understand where I coming from on this. I want you to understand the resources. In this course I'll lay the groundwork for "how do we know?" In short, it's all about relationships.
So, I end the intro with this: Most people experience knowledge in the context of pretense.
So to steer clear of pretense, to subdue your own pretense, we will labor to establish your trust that pretense-free Big Intelligence is even possible. Then I show you how Big Intelligence is complicated though not necessarily infinitely so.