Sections

Distinctions

Model of reality

Experience model

Expertise model



Causality

The distinction between a link and a cause

The experience notes that there is a link between the switch and the light.

I turn the switch and then the light comes on.
The experience notes that there is a link between the tap and the water.

I turn the tap and then the water comes out.
The experience says that there was a time relationship between A and B. That I did A and then B happened.

 

The link is reinforced by repetition.

We press the switch again, the light goes on again.

We turn the tap, the water flows again.

With each repetition, we become more confident.

And after many repetitions, we forget our uncertainty.

 

light and switch

 

It is at this point that we start to learn..

The learning says that when I press the switch, the light will go on.
The learning says that when I turn the tap, the water will flow.

We are moving from a link in time to causality.
The learning says that A causes B and that B is caused by A.

 

The learning says that when I turn on the tap tomorrow, that water will flow.

This is a prediction.

This allows me to do something.

This is knowledge that I can use to do things.

I call this Working Knowledge.

 

There is always a leap between the experience and the learning.

We like to pretend that the gap does not exist.

But it does.

This means that certainty cannot exist.

 

Our audacity

As we grow up, we gain lots of experiences with the same tap.

But we also get lots of experiences of other taps in our house.

And we gain more experiences of taps in the houses of our friends.

And as time goes by we begin to get experiences of taps in our school.

We notice that not all taps are the same.

Some give hot water. Some give cold water.

We know how taps 'work'.

 

plum pudding model

 

But here is what I find interesting.

By the time we have become an adult, we will have had experiences with several thousand taps.

But our understanding of how taps work will lead us to be confident that we can use millions and billions of taps around the world.

We use our experiences (in the past) with a few taps to allow us to make predictions(in the future) about the behaviour of billions of taps.

We extrapolate in time and in space to create a model of how our world works.

We do this to live our lives.