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What we don’t know




February issue of Wired answers this question (?/!)

It might have been titled Something You Don’t Know For Everyone.

The Rumsfeld quote. What was it exactly? And did it mean anything?

“There’s what we know and what we don’t know and what we know we know and what we don’t know we know and what we know we don’t know…..”

Well, no! Or could it be:

“There’s what we know and what we don’t know; there what we know we know and what we know we don’t know….”

I don’t know!

Well if you vaguely remember it don’t know it exactly, or think you don’t know it, or even know you don’t know it, here it is amongst other Rumsfeldisms.

Which leads imperceptibly to:

Knowing and Not Knowing from doceo, James Atherton’s site.

Came across this about five years ago in a previous splurge of mental activity on science vs. religion. Note the Arab proverb right at the bottom and also

    If I don’t know I don’t know
    I think I know
    If I don’t know I know
    I think I don’t know

Laing R D (1970) Knots

which he puts at the top. (Maybe Rummie was a secret reader of R D Laing. If so he probably threw the lot in the bin round about 1978 like the rest of us should have. I kept them as a reminder of how far it is possible to go wrong on Nature vs. Nurture )

::

Began to find sociology of religion very interesting about 20 years ago. Read the piece by Gellner, The Pendulum Swing Theory of Islam, with that business about Syndrome P and Syndrome C, which is picked up briefly in a 2001 paper by Keiko Saliko in Arab Quarterly, called Modernity and Tradition in the Islamic Movements in Iraq.

My notes from Gellner at the time:

Syndrome P

* Strict monotheism

* Puritanism

* Stress on scriptural revelation: hence literacy

* Egalitarianism between believers

* Absence of special mediation

* Minimalisation of ritual or mystical extravagance:leaning to moderation and sobriety

* Stress on the observation of rules rather than emotional states

{Urban – fragmented territorially and organisationally}

Syndrome C

* Tendency to hierarchy

* Priesthood or ritual specialisation

* Multiplicity of spirits in other world

* Incarnation of religion in perceptual symbols or images rather than abstract recorded word

* Tendency to profusion of ritual and mystical practices rather than sobriety and moderation

* Ethic of loyalty towards personality rather than respect for rules

{Rural – great continuity (time) and extent (territory) }

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January 24, 2008 - Posted by | epistemology, religion, Rumsfeld, Sociology of religion | , ,

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