Educated (11): Truth in context

Another aspect of the limits of knowledge is the contingent nature of most of what we know: Truth is usually* truth-in-context.

  • A pair of non-parallel lines will only ever cross once… on the infinite flat plane of Euclidian geometry.**
  • Swans are only white… as far as Europeans knew before someone saw a black one in Australia.
  • It’s safest to walk facing oncoming traffic… unless everyone else is expecting you to do something different.
  • My values are the right ones… as far as I’ve been able to find out so far (I’ve changed my mind before and it might*** happen again).
  • My people have always lived here… since they arrived from somewhere else.

When we change where we are, who we’re with, or the information available, the things we already know change too, as do the best ways to use them.

*Always?

**They’ll cross a lot more than that if you draw them on the inside or outside of a sphere

***Will? Must?

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...