The Quality of Knowledge The Quality of Knowledge
Information is so much more than fact or non-fact. Africans enslaved other Africans is a fact, but I would not call it a truth... The Quality of Knowledge

It makes no difference how much knowledge you pour on deep ignorance; it is a fire that cannot go out because first and foremost it is trapped in the gravity of its own ignorance— Alik Shahadah

There are large areas of study dedicated to the branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge and its essence. 1)Kant: A Complete Guide to ReasonEpistemologists, a field of philosophy, study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic justification, and the rationality of belief. But we must also deal with this from an African-centered point of view. So much of what we think we know is subject to a very Eurocentric lens and that has profound implications for how we both digest knowledge, how we value knowledge, how we produce it and moreover how we apply it. 2)One-way knowledge is dying is because people have no value for hard-won knowledge acquisition. Someone could spend 4 years on a topic and it is written off by one guy who spent 2 seconds thinking about it. It is beyond disrespectful. The tools we use to articulate and communicate, and transfer knowledge also need a review because we have the words that must be used to transmit knowledge when in many cases they do their own damage to the purity of knowledge. Two people could read this article and come away with two totally different understandings.

Facts do not add up to become truths on their own

Truth does not care about how good or how bad Africa looks. Information or knowledge is neutral, what we take from it or what we interpret from it is up to us. But some of us only want to hear the good, while explaining away the bad information. And some only want to sell the bad, while washing out the good information. In both cases that is a betrayal of the pursuit of true knowledge.  Both bad news and good news have equal weight.

In its quest for certainty, Western philosophy continues to generate what it imagines to be colorless and genderless accounts of knowledge, reality, morality, and human nature– Alison Baile
60 sec Islam. Donkey carrying a book - YouTubeWe better stop looking at information in binary terms as fact vs. false, or good vs, bad.  Knowledge is so much more than fact or non-fact. Knowledge is greater than information or the chronology of dates and places and who did what to who. Information without comprehension is like a record player or a donkey with books.
So Africans enslaved other Africans is a fact, but I would not call it a truth since just that so-called fact fails to do justice to the complexity of the topic. Blacks commit more crimes in the USA considering their percentage in the population is another so-called orphaned fact. It again is a fact used to distort other more factual realities. In South Africa, you are 99% likely to meet violent crime at the hands of a black person. Sure it is a fact especially if 80% of the population is ‘black’. Knowledge is a complex subject and should never be oversimplified into fact Vs non-fact. Facts in isolation from other facts end up becoming better ways to lie.
When knowledge hierarchy dies it takes knowledge with it — Alik Shahadah
Statistical data is not a narrative, it is the ingredients of a narrative just like flour, sugar, and oil and some of the ingredients of a cake. That narrative is what we need to draw information out of if history is to serve in any functional way for us living now and building tomorrow.
There is this Eurocentric knowledge system that adds value to certain types of knowledge, if something is a fact does that make it real? Why not articulate a framework based on experience and less on so-called facts? Because if facts can obfuscate reality then what good are they? If facts can be presented without any sort of critical thinking then they might be facts out of the context of reality. So how we posit information is critical in understanding it. What do we do with a list of orphan facts or stats? Everything might be true, but they might also fail to capture the experience and why the hierarchy of facts above conveys reality. Dihydrogen oxide is the number one cause of drownings globally, yet we drink it. The statement is factual and also pretty darn stupid. Facts and stats are not maths, because how they are presented alters reality. There are no versions of 10-1 unless we suggest 10-1 =0 and no one is doing that. So beyond maths and hard science, there is a fog.
 “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”— Jesus
acetic acid | Definition, Formula, Uses, & Facts | Britannica

Ignorance reacts violently to knowledge

The precondition for knowledge to flow depends on the mental state of those we must teach. Because whenever you put a basic challenge to black rhetoric and mythology it always reacts in anger and eventually starts spitting vitriol. 9/10, it never retreats and reconsiders and hence never grows to be anything we call African-conscious. I hate to say this, but it is just another format ignorance takes— despite all its pretensions to the contrary. Ignorance is a terrible thing and it has left us angry and exposed, but it has not prepared us for the real world. So it is not as simple as replacing ignorance with knowledge because ignorance seems to want to continue in its natural state of ignorance and has a caustic reaction when one introduces knowledge.

In its quest for certainty, Western philosophy continues to generate what it imagines to be colorless and genderless accounts of knowledge, reality, morality, and human nature– Alison Baile


TO KNOW MORE  YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our ability to learn more is limited by what we know. It is a paradoxical situation. So an article on the failure of the African Union is most effectively understood by those who already have a comprehensive understanding of the AU. So how can you gain any true understanding of a post on the AU if you have a weak understanding of it? So in short, it takes knowledge to gain knowledge. It is one reason we have different discussion levels. If mentioned Jared Diamond on social media those who read the book automatically knew its relevance in terms of development and environmental determinism. So when we got to discussing the Tsetse fly or the infamous Eurocentric model of advancement, the presents of the wheel in antiquity, the entire context of that discussion and its importance was known to those who know! Who has read, who has background information on this specific topic both as a social discussion and as a political one. We did not have to explain it.

There is not a thing we can do about the past except learn from it

What resolution are we having this discussion on?

This is the problem with social media. or the world in general when we speak to broad diverse motley demographics. But at university, they teach university students who have demonstrated a certain basic level of their subjects. And when they get to the Ph.D. level they have a different knowledge for those candidates based on the fact that they have already completed an undergraduate degree. So a P.hD candidate in Astrophysics already knows quantum theory, they not asking their professors “So how come apples fall down to the ground.”? You are in the wrong class. Or attending a university lecture titled “Adam Smith and Slavery” and you do not even know what slavery was or who Adam Smith was. 3)Slavery, Adam Smith’s Economic Vision and the
Invisible Hand

In short, you not going to get it if you do not know! Then how do we know enough to “get it” as no one can sit down and go through a is for apple when we want to advance the discussion to discuss the role of epigenetics in Africa’s poverty cycle?

So how do we gain knowledge:

  • Read serious books (not mythology or feel good or polemic text) no shortcuts to reading
  • Read diverse reasonable opinions to avoid distortions. 4)No matter how good an argument is presented, like this article, remember an article is a single work of a person or persons to promote a point of view they believe in. Critical flaws might be embedded, unknown to the reader, in any work, no matter how well-meaning the author is. Knowledge must be weighted relative to other knowledge on the same topic for its value to truly be known.
  • Research information (which is a skill in itself)
  • Engage in critical discussion and avoid ideological groups which reinforce groupthink
  • Change your attitude towards information,
  • Be a critical thinker
  • Listen more than you speak
  • Engage in critical discussions (not a typo, mentioned twice for emphasis).

No matter how good an argument is presented, like this article, remember an article is a single work of a person or persons to promote a point of view they believe in. Critical flaws might be embedded, unknown to the reader, in any work, no matter how well-meaning the author is. Knowledge must be weighted relative to other knowledge on the same topic for its value to truly be known.


POSTMODERNIST TAKE ON KNOWLEDGE

Postmodernists are like nihilists, there is no correct objective way to view anything. So knowledge is a subjective social construction (that word again, but it sounds so cool), and relies on the subjective human toolbox (your brain) which is disconnected from reality because we use the artifice of language to articulate that subjective reality that is prone to human fallibility. They say some types of information are privileged something at the expense of others.

I define postmodernism as incredulity towards metanarratives. — Jean-François Lyotard

An understanding of this suggests that postmodernism can only critique the world but it cannot generate them because that would violate their take on creating subjective metanarratives.


TO KNOW YOU NEED TO KNOW (EXAMPLE)

The higher you climb in knowledge the thinner the crowd

There is a pre-requisite to knowledge and that is knowledge. A few weeks ago I made the following statement:

When we worked at the AU, the head of the Diaspora (aka the 6th region) did not even know what Kwanzaa was when we said we should do something special for Kwanzaa.

To understand this statement what is required of you?
1. What is the AU
2. Who are we that we were doing at the AU in the first place
3. What is Kwanzaa
4. What is the Diaspora
5. Why is there a 6th region
6. How the AU operates
7. A basic grasp of English

Someone (God bless them) translated the complex message into a form that they could understand because they did not fully understand the above 6th points:

Why would the African union be interested in an African American holiday, that is like asking them to celebrate Kadooment in the Caribbean?

The simplification ignored a whole heap of factors.  Kwanzaa is not just a holiday like Kadooment; it is a Pan-African holiday based on African traditional concepts. The 6th region of the African Union is the Diaspora. Kwanzaa is the only Pan-African holiday (even if we say it is for the Diaspora). We make films and worked at the AU representing our film Motherland which is a Pan-African documentary interested in promoting Pan-Africanism. We are from the Diaspora. I would think a Pan-African holiday would be important to anyone representing the 6th region. Just like I would expect the head of Islamic affairs at SOAS to know a Sunni from a Shi’a or Ramadan from Qurbani Eid.

The other thing is many themes are celebrated at the AU, we did not say that they celebrate Kwanzaa we said that we do something for Kwanzaa. Just like we worked on a feature of Children soldiers. Or were trying to get a special screening of our film Motherland.


LOW-RESOLUTION DISCUSSIONS

Rumors never die, they are too sweet and easy to recite to ever die.

High Resolution Images vs Low Resolution ImagesA low-resolution discussion is when someone says “Go and read Blah blah” without ever extracting the core thesis which is necessary for their argument. I can say the sun is pink go read Einstein’s theory of relativity. Sure 500 pages later… You have not proven anything by saying “go read…”

It looks like they know what they are on about but let us pinpoint how going to read any book supports a specific argument being made. How am I, who does not know, going to waste my time reading an entire book to get one point? I would have to give specific information and a reference to where in that book my information is backed up or we both must be familiar with that book and its arguments.


THE DESTRUCTION OF KNOWLEDGE SOCIAL MEDIA

A popular science channel on YouTube channel said that YouTube destroys knowledge. And I asked why would a channel with 7k likes per video be complaining about how YouTube’s algorithm forces them to only make a certain type of content. So living within the algorithm causes them to betray their ability to produce content that is content-centric as opposed to content that works with the algorithm. And then I said how is Facebook any different? How is an algorithm the greatest factor in the knowledge people ingest? So imagine if a school worked on a popularity algorithm everyone would do nude art and skip thermodynamics and algebra. Good for the short-term, not so good for aerospace engineering.

There was a time when Google had this site top for all kinds of African topics. Back in the day top was by content on the subject. So the Arabslavetrade.info had the right domain, it was populated with many references to the subject “Arab slave trade” by all standards it was a good page for anyone who was really interested in the Arab slave trade. Today that has changed. It is the blog with the most likes and sensationalized version of that history. Why would anyone want to make an entire site with deep information when a quick click-bait blog will do better? So which direction does this push knowledge in?


REACTIONS TO KNOWLEDGE

PERSONAL STORY

Christmas background. Landscape with townhouses and Santa Claus

How the mind deals with information it is not prepared to handle. I remember when my uncle told me there was no Santa. 1/2 way between him spoiling what was my childhood beliefs I already knew. I knew what he was telling was true. My mind had already figured it out but part of my mind was in denial afraid to walk into that uncertain world where no fat white man flew around the world doing charity. That world was my “identity” and my safety without that mythology what would I have to wait for Xmas day now I knew the truth?

Many years later at 16 a friend from school called me up and just ask ” do you honestly believe that stuff religion teaches about Adam and Eve in a garden”. I never replied I just listened. By the time he had finished that sentence I had to face what my subconscious had already figured out. The problem was that now my ears had heard it there was no way to get the genie back into the box.
I know how it feels, a few years after that this Jewish woman told me my own ancestors sold us into slavery. I knew it, but now I knew I could never deny it ever again. I did not like the truth one bit, I had to learn to deal with it. Most of us are so terrified of the unknown that we keep up the illusion until the grave. There are only so many reactions to inconvenient and terrible truths. You think about how you handle yours.

360 DEGREES of KNOWING

How much money does it take to make a film? We do not know, do we? How could you grasp that unless you did that? So when an independent film is selling a DVD for $30 bucks we might understand that their revenue stream is not identical to that of Marvel who might be able to pay more for their films but still sell DVDs at 1/2 the price. How much money does it take to run a research organization? We do not know if none of us do that. How much does it cost to make handmade clothes, how would anyone know without understanding business?5)Ocacia on what it takes to run a made-in-Africa business What is the price of linen, what is the price of postage via a courier? How much should a skilled worker spending 4hrs on a shirt earn? What is the global market value of a handmade shirt? If we do not know, how can we make any statement about what these things should cost? We turn up our noses at our African culture or African clothes and African art and then complain about why Royal Albert Hall is such an illustrious European institution— maybe because they added value to it. 6)Bourdieu (French sociologist) believed that cultural capital played an important, and subtle role. For both Marx and Bourdieu the more capital, you have the more powerful you are. Bourdieu defined cultural capital as ‘familiarity with the legitimate culture within a society; what we might call ‘high culture. He saw families passing on cultural capital to their children by introducing them to dance and music, taking them to theatres, galleries and historic sites, and by talking about literature and art over the dinner table. He goes on to state that ALL attitudes to art are informed by levels of education. And that every cultural artifact has a message, and knowing the value of say Picasso or Chopin has a value in Western society. Naturally, this translates into an economic value that is agreed upon globally, by European agency. But someone somewhere had to put a value on these cultural items. And that is what makes a culture dominant.

As Chomsky stated once there is a disconnection between the real world and the world that falls into our laps. We see PEPSI and LEVI and do not understand capitalism. We do not know how our electricity works, or how eBay and Amazon get stuff to us.7)A business series on why things cost what they cost


It is critical that we understand how this real world works and what it takes to run it. Without fully understanding the REAL WORLD we sometimes will fall into the trap of making statements that make no sense. Like “How come they do not take the money from Nasa and feed all the poor”, and “Why do those handmade clothes cost so much money compared to high street brands”?.  The reason for those questions is that the person asking lacks knowledge. And we need to understand economics and how it advances us and why sometimes it does not.

We cannot own anything and also have a powerful role in this world. China has power because China manufactures. But do we understand those market forces? Why do we have to use European languages? How is that related to economic trends? Why are books written mainly in English and not in Zulu? What economic benefits will replacing English with Shona or Zulu offer impoverished Africa? 8)Language DeathAll these answers require a broader appreciation of information to understand the forces that create the world that we see. And if our intent is to alter the world that we do not like into something that is more favorable, then we will require a 360-degree understanding of things.

Not understanding means a failure to get cause and effect. A failure to understand relationships between our sad state in Africa and our actions or lack of actions. The relationship between support and non-support and why every big film about Africa is made by someone non-African. Not knowing the sun is what causes the plants to grow. Or fossil fuel runs cars but also creates harmful toxins. So knowledge is important, 360 degrees of knowledge. Because without we are running around blind asking ridiculous questions and making even more ridiculous statements.


KNOWLEDGE FOR BETTER LIES

High Quality Stock Photos of "rock paintings"

Prehistoric rock paintings, Wadi Teshuinat, Akakus, Sahara desert, Libya9)And we know at this time the population of North Africa was certainly not all non-African, and this will become important to show that the fictional Two-Africa model is racist inspired

Milton Friedman made a statement all racists and detractors use against Africa that we mostly didn’t utilize the wheel. Although he uses the word “mostly” because both Ethiopia and Somalia did use the wheel the entire weight of the statement is fuel for racist views of Africa. Obviously, they insert the word ‘invent’ but the Inca and other Mesoamerican civilizations created amazing advances without it. Also what is so special about the wheel in the context of development? Well, the wheel is a Eurocentric yardstick like IQ to discredit none- Western genius. Like saying Africa had no philosophy. Lol. Well, philosophy is their word, not ours.
The opposite of knowledge is ignorance. Makes no difference if it makes you feel good or puts you down.
Now he actually said nothing non-factual. But here is another fact, Europeans did not bathe more than twice a year until modern times. Pushing that fact around carries an intent to create something in someone’s mind. The intent is king. Why are you sharing information? Did you know the Arab slave trade predates the European-run trade in enslaved Africans? What is the intent of this information? Because on its own it clearly is there as a red herring. It tells us nothing in isolation beyond being a politically inserted fact to distract.
One Sophist said that there is no usage of scripts in Sub-Saharan Africa and South North Eastern Africa prior to the 18th century. What a long route to take to make Africa look illiterate. Well, sure it is true. But if we would like to play that exclusion game then how about I offer, that prior to the introduction of soap by Muslims, Europeans north of the Danube and South of the Pyrenees never saw soap until the late 17th century. The UK North of Hadrian’s Wall never had any script until c.750. Romans had hygiene standards below that of animals. How information is presented is critical to understanding the intent and the maliciousness of the writer.

NIA (PURPOSE)

“We now live in a nation where doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, universities destroy knowledge, governments destroy freedom, the press destroys information, religion destroys morals, and our banks destroy the economy.”― Chris Hedges

Allow a deeper treatment as it relates to Slavery. We are sons and daughters of enslaved Africans and I forgot what generation we are. We often use the institution of slavery in our arguments for reparations, social justice, wokeness, and for explaining economic and political disparity. Yet what time do we spend actually learning about slavery beyond using it in these situations? I am not talking about the greatest hits list 10 Things You did not know about Slavery. I am discussing a specific history of slavery as opposed to a generalized understanding of slavery whose purpose is exclusively a political tool in one direction or the other.

If we have an objective-oriented methodology then the purpose of knowledge quickly comes into focus. We can use knowledge for our development if we have a full comprehension of its ultimate mission. Things complex are not made simple to become valid. Valid or not does not care about our ability to crunch information. We must increase our comprehension in order to grasp complex topics and their solutions. But today people need memes to explain complex topics and if they cannot be summarized in a Tweet, they become invalid.

Facts in isolation from other facts end up becoming better ways to lie


HIERARCHY

DEATH OF EXPERTISE C: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters by [Tom Nichols]The role of the Tsetse fly in Africa’s underdevelopment is one of those studies that is what it is. There is no denying that tsetse has been extensively studied because of its role in transmitting disease. They have a profound economic impact in sub-Saharan Africa as the biological vectors of trypanosomes, which cause human sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis. As a result of this, the tsetse decimated livestock populations, forcing early states to rely on slave labor to clear land for farming, and preventing farmers from taking advantage of natural animal fertilizers to increase crop production. These long-term effects may have kept population density low and discouraging cooperation between small-scale communities, thus preventing stronger nations from forming. Great Zimbabwe is interestingly located in an area of low Tsetse fly infestation.

Some suggest that under a lower burden of tsetse, Africa would have developed differently. Agriculture (measured by the usage of large domesticated animals, intensive agriculture, plow use, and female participation rate in agriculture), as well as institutions (measured by the appearance of indigenous slavery and levels of centralization), would have been more like those found in Eurasia. 10)THE EFFECT OF THE TSETSE FLY ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT Marcella Alsany
Hijab oppressing Women

Which one is the bigger issue for society?

Now all of this is true, but what other factors have also played a role in Africa’s underdevelopment? Jared Dimond and both Walter Rodney have had their go at answering this question. Walter lays the reason squarely on the role of Europeans in Africa’s recent history. Jared takes a more environmental determinism transdisciplinarity path and collates data from a huge well of information. The priority of the tsetse fly is an example of the hierarchy of information to explain a situation. Which one do you think had a more impactful role on the current state of Africa today? A fly, or European slavery, apartheid, colonialism, and neo-liberal colonialism?

When discussing controversial issues like foreigners in South Africa a lot of weight is placed on the discussion and we need to reset all the conversations and ask harder questions. Of all the issues facing places like the USA, the UK, and South Africa from foreigners how critical this is to the national setup? Like the issue of women wearing Nikab in France. Is that honestly such a serious issue that requires legislation and all of that hate? No, I think if we looked at the issues within South Africa vs what is discussed publically we might find a massive priority problem. Where issues that have very little effect on the core issues of South Africa are platformed as existential threats to their future. It is very easy for any society to put undue weight on issues that are visible and electric over more serious threats that people are less comfortable with such as the crisis of culture and the self-destruction of African families.
On Wikipedia information about identity are more dominant and to the fore when those identities are Jewish. If you look at the number of categories of Jewish people of British Ancestry, Jews in Science, Jews in music, and Jewish composers (you get the picture) there is an overwhelming agenda that is pro-Jewish. This information is not inaccurate or problematic if discussed in isolation. It does become problematic when this same emphasis exists almost exclusively for Jews, yet is campaigned against for Muslims or Africans. So knowledge has to be assessed on its weight and priority within a society. Not only if it is factual, good, or fun to learn about.

PEDAGOGY

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society.— Malcolm X
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We should not confuse methods of teaching, that is a pedological issue. So unless there is evidence of one teaching method over another teaching method the question of “how to teach” is academic. Each has its merits and each has problems. University, the highest rating system of knowledge is problematic in its own ways just like YouTube and forum learning is problematic.  This is why the best solution is to have multiple types of pedagogy in tandem.  How you teach people from the hoods of Phili or the townships of South Africa is very different from how you will teach University graduates. This is why music and fictional film play an epic role in education.

The recognition of different stages and different ways people learn is a critical aspect of how instruction is received. Bob Marley did a lot to awaken people enough to know they needed to know. From there they transferred themselves to video and then maybe onto books. How you speak to a motley audience on Facebook is not the same way you speak to a class of post-doctorates at Harvard! This is why we (who run this site) present information on social media radically different from the way the same information is presented here and again different from how we present it in our films. So there is no “perfect” way to teach unless we are being extremely specific and academic about how that system of teaching is problematic, in short, my Kung Fu is as good as your Kung Fu depending on the application.  Different metrics from different folks, and also different standards of measuring the effectiveness of a specific method of teaching (pedagogy). A popular Facebook post talking about nothing sensible gets 23K likes, a page like this gets 2 reads a month. Which one is most effective? Well of the 23K that liked a Facebook post 2 seconds after clicking like nothing happened and nothing will ever happen, they moved on unaffected to click like on a cute cat video in our case the two people who read this article changed and benefited from this information, adapted their teaching methods and taught children for the next 3 decades. Which metric are we running with?

Free Yourself

This was one of those decade-old puzzles we use to debate and finally solved a few years ago. You do not truly learn by orphan facts floating around unconnected to anything: you learn by deep immersion. Yesterday I was watching some space stuff about interstellar travel, afterward, I went and read some Wikipedia, watched a few more specific videos on solar radiation, traveling at the speed of light, etc, and now I grasp the topic a little better. What would I honestly know from a “Did you know interstellar travel is impossible” if I read that and walked away? Nothing said here invalidates any method, it is more to offer a critical argument about the caveats of specific methods. Even films have inherent issues, just like music. Teaching via complex articles is also problematic because of a  ridiculously lower reach. Only academics read academic articles. So good as they may be, very few can ingest that information vs education via film or music. But the quality of the information in music is seriously problematic.

Every day religions and charities use the hard sale, and it works. Some try the soft sale, but it all depends. There is no superiority of one over the other. When you are speaking to hard-ears people you certainly not going to get their attention with softness. Wikipedia in its campaign for donations has adopted a very harsh brash direct message. Some just say “guys, help out our channel if you can” both methods have the same objective but use different techniques for accomplishing it. Traditionally speaking the “Black” community has had the likes of the hard message of people like Garvey and X. Clearly it worked.


KNOWLEDGE HARD WON IS KNOWLEDGE LEARNED

Instant Data upload

If all you are doing is hand-feeding people with links and orphan facts then you could be making them lazy. And part of knowledge, arguable the greatest part of it is the journey of discovery that one does for self. Today you can post 1000 links to direct information on Wikipedia, our website, and Kindle and it will make no difference because 80% of the time no one is going to click those links and take any action. You will be greeted with the “I will check it out” which when translated means, “I am off to click like on that news clip about Nikki Minaj never to revisit that link again.” People who really want to know, only need your guidance. That zeal to learn will propel them to where they need to go at their respective stage of development. But the knowledge gained through toil will be retained way more than knowledge acquired like in the Matrix.


THE SOCIAL DILEMMA

As a small social experiment the picture of Benin was put on a Facebook page and it was very popular. The text associated with the picture said:

The ancient Kingdom of Benin

The Kingdom of Benin, also known as the Edo Kingdom, or the Benin Empire (Bini: Arriọba ẹdo) was a kingdom within what is now southwestern Nigeria.It has no historical relation to the modern republic of Benin, which was known as Dahomey from the 17th century until 1975. The Kingdom of Benin’s capital was Edo, now known as Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria

And now what? on top of that if 10K people clicked like what percentage of those people went and read more? Is it better than nothing? That is an irrelevant discussion when we are discussing advancing our knowledge of self from the general to the specific with context. We do not say something is better than nothing and swim the Atlantic to get from Ghana to America.  When we are discussing knowledge we start to realize social media is a massive problem. Not even 1% of the 10K who clicked like clicked the link to learn more about Benin. The majority just clicked “like” on the picture and went on with their day just as ignorant as when they started it. Is this then a form of true knowledge acquisition? No. Could you read a book on Benin and still be as ignorant as when you started? No. Could you watch a documentary about the Kingdom of Benin and at the end of it still know absolutely nothing? No. So we see the epic challenge of flash freeze history and titbits of isolated facts with pretty pictures.
Comprehension of history takes true scholarship to look at that raw data and crunch it into something meaningful, especially meaningful for us alive today. B/c history only serves this moment, no other timeline has any use for it, certainly not the dead. But without a real engagement with this information then there is no transfer of knowledge.

THE GOOD QUESTION

“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes,”— Einstein

A good question leads to discovery, a bad question leads nowhere and no attempts should be made to even answer it. Some will say failure to answer a stupid question means something is wrong with you. Am… no. A ridiculous or silly question can only be answered with a silly or better yet no response. It is all how we understand knowledge. Someone asked a thesis ‘so who created God?” this was after the thesis stated “God has no begin or no end, he creates yet has never been created”, should they attempt to answer that question?

Next, they will ask “How is Trump racist”? Or “what is wrong with a statue in Africa to King Leopold”, failure to answer stupid is not a reflection of my lack of knowledge only the stupidity of the question maker. Your answers reveal your conscious location so ask good questions and then demand good answers. Conscious location determines the quality of the knowledge you are imbibing, if you are learned what might poison one person might empower youThis is why when people recommend further reading they must take into consideration where someone is on their journey. Hence why information for pre-schoolers is different for post-graduates.


KNOWLEDGE TIERS

The masses have never thirsted after truth. They turn aside from evidence that is not to their taste, preferring to deify error, if error seduce them. Whoever can supply them with illusions is easily their master; whoever attempts to destroy their illusions is always their victim.— Gustave Le Bon

The Three Meanings Of E=mc^2, Einstein's Most Famous Equation

Makes no sense or makes perfect sense depending on what you already know.

The world is divided into different levels of knowledge we have a school for kids, we also have a school for adults. We have a school for every stage where the mind is capable of receiving the information disseminated. If you open a book on quantum mechanics without knowing some serious science it will look like nonsense.  And just like this when we explain reality to a mind that is not ready it will be confusing. That confusion has no bearing on the truth of the information but is a statement of the poor preparation of a person’s mind. If you spent 20 years studying string theory at a University a book on string theory will be easily accessible.  Einstein’s genius will not make much sense to anyone who does not already have enough knowledge of time and space to appreciate why his theory of general relativity is so amazing.

So acquiring knowledge, paradoxically, is a function of what you already know. And if you do not know, are you sure that you have enough information to know that you do not know? There is so much knowledge out there, but without a foundation in it, it is totally inaccessible. And not knowing is a death sentence.

And if knowledge has to stay behind for the dullard at the back of the class who failed to listen to the teacher then we will be on nursery rhymes while the rest of the world is on Beethovan’s 9th symphony. We will be on unpowered bikes while they are on the surface of Mars.

If you are having a discussion about slavery the quality of the argument is dependent on the quality of information both interlocutors have. If one can barely read and comprehend a written argument it would be safe to reason there is not much you can expect from that exchange. It is unlikely to produce new knowledge. And it is shocking how many people come out the ass end of a university yet lack basic comprehension skills. But they would be busy working on an extensive rebuttal against a straw man. In one YouTube video, a content creator launches an amazing assault claiming that meritocracy was a myth, the problem is he misunderstood the diverse properties of the word meritocracy. It is like an atheist debunking God by debunking the most infantile Christian definition of God. It makes their work rather easy when you present weak straw men to tear down. So it is cool to say in a meme that capitalism is a vampire without ever discussing a proper definition of capitalism to include the very core of capitalism which is private ownership, the same private ownership lay detractors enjoy. It is very easy to present “religion” in a tidy monolithic block to throw one-liners at it. Way harder when you give the broad word religion a full scholarly treatment. And anytime someone responds to your complex treatment of a subject with so “what you are saying is…” and then proceeds to offer something you never said then exists the debate.

“The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”― Isaac Asimov

If you have knowledge and they are a stationary ignorant object, something has to give. And this is the source of a lot of disagreement in the world. It is not that they are disagreeing with any of your central points it is that their ignorance and your knowledge are democratically equal. Their frustration with you means it is you that is doing something wrong and have betrayed some ideal of “truth” and are in some way a traitor to the mission. But deep ignorance is less about what you know and more about how you utilize information to transform your attitudes and actions. If you know all the dates in history but are flippant and dismissive of other knowledge then you are like a donkey with books on its back. What we extract from knowledge is very important, not just flinging it around like an edged sword.  Because knowledge recognizes knowledge— how else would it grow?

When you follow a clown to his house do not expect him to take you to a university, expect a circus — Alik Shahadah


THE CRITICAL THINKER

Am I a critical thinker? Most of the time. Before I challenge information I challenge what I know and how I know it. I ask, in absents of knowing something, how could I have hard positions on the thing I barely know, and never read anything deep about? Am I biased? Do I need to believe Egypt was an African civilization or am I being objective in stating that it was? Do I seek confirmation bias? Do I have evidence for my position, do I understand the countering opinions and the weight of their evidence? Have I considered all possibilities? Am I open to learning more or am I pretty sure I am 100% correct and to hell with everyone else? This is why I say most of the time because if you want to argue that marriage is not important for the advancement of African people I would not waste my time with a discussion. If you told me history is no longer important and race is irrelevant, economics is not important for African liberation and there is no evidence of God then I am pretty sure about where I stand. But I could still engage in further discussion if that discussion sheds light on the discussion (which is different from me changing my position, it might reinforce my position more than anything, or at least make me tolerant of differing opinions).

Critical thinkers build strong arguments so even if right or wrong the foundation that arrived at that conclusion builds new knowledge. You cannot build new knowledge with poor arguments— even if by accident they are right.

Critical thinkers do not seek absolute final answers to things. We appreciate that two positions that might seem to live in antagonism to each other might be different truths of the same thing. The elephant in the picture has many truths depending on how you look at it. The elephant does have spears, but it is not only a spear. The elephant has a tail like a rope, but it is neither a rope nor a spear. So this is just an illustration to show that things have different POV and we must respect that and make sure we are not in disagreement about different aspects of the same thing.


THE TRUTH AS AN ASPECT OF KNOWLEDGE

Truth for some people seems to always support their ideology and arguments. If they turn left it follows, if they head North it follows them still. I am yet to see even dogs so loyal as the ‘truth’ that follows them.— Alik Shahadah

Do you really need to lift heavy weights for muscle growth? | Mint LoungeSo people talk a lot about truth, well the truth about the truth is it does not care about a boy! But we must recognize truth also depends on the conditioning of your mind. Truth also has to undergo a trial of fire. It is not true just because it comes out of someone’s mouth.

You do not try to lift heavy weights if your body is weak. You first must condition your body and then you are better able to do heavy lifting. Knowledge is like that also. Because none of us can handle information that we are not conditioned to process. Thus if our “truths” lie in the outer limits of our capacity then how can we realize them?

What people often call “truth” is a version of things that they can handle, when it goes outside of that they either reject it or ignore it. And No, the truth will not set you free, it is more likely to send you loco.

Not everything that is faced can be changedbut nothing can be changed until it is faced. —James Baldwin.

Examples and Observations of a Confirmation Bias | Simply PsychologyThe convenient truth is not the truth, because it is not a full disclosure of any topic. The truth of the European trade shows that people on the African continent did play some role in the Atlantic and the Arab slave trade. That lack of development within Africa allowed Europeans to eventually conquer most of the continent. So the truth is not set up as evil whites vs good Africans. But saying that does not mean we are all equal oppressors. The truth is way more complex than that and most certainly does not have the objective of a tidy well-balanced narrative of anything. The truth is not smooth, the deeper you go the more jagged and uncomfortable it becomes. The truth about poverty in Africa is it is inflicted by capitalist regimes, etc, etc but also by the very people themselves, both positions exist at the same moment in time. So anyone painting a clean and tidy picture is not telling the truth. Yes, Whites have played a role in destroying African history but today the greatest destroyer of African history is the Africans themselves through non-interest and non-support. Both things are true. Truth does not care about your politics. Black Lives Matter is a valid campaign, but an equally valid campaign is that Black lives have no value to Blacks.

So if truth is cherrypicking facts that fund our argument, is it still the truth?

The misapplication of “truthful’ logic is another area of great confusion and I am sure the Greeks had a lot to say about logic. Because say African hair is better for Africans because it is natural, can you from that argument say that all things African are also better? So African religions are “better” because they are indigenous? Well, one thing about truth is it is not simple like that, logic is not simple like that. Hair and religion are different things and require different arguments. An African-made car can only be better than a Japanese car if the African car can demonstrate its superiority in some or all areas. African clothes are better than European clothes again if we can demonstrate how in all or specific applications. If you cannot wear them all day long because they are made out of animal hides while European clothes or Asian clothes made out of linen then African clothes in the main cannot be better for anyone, including Africans.


WE ARE LIMITED

Being biological means we are limited by our biology, being created means we are limited and will always be less than the process which created us. We can only conceive of things that we have experienced. The most unique thought or idea is limited by what we as humans experience, there is no knowledge outside of this human experience. We know of time in terms of how we experience time. We have five senses and comprehend everything via them, if there was a 6th-sense it would be outside of our scope of knowledge. Our entire understanding of string theory and space-time is 100% mapped to our human senses. We cannot conceive anything outside of our known reality. Hence why even our mythology mirrors our Earthly reality. Hell has fire because we know fire. Heaven mirrors our most beautiful human experiences. Now that we understand our limits it means every single thing beyond our experience is unknowable. This is why even the most creative minds, when world-building, build alien worlds still based on this world.

And just like an ant cannot conceive of string theory of nuke physics, we as humans are limited by our biology. As big as our brains are, they are only really big relative to the next animal. All of us are created, and incapable of knowing what lies outside of our biological design. Every single paradigm is still a human paradigm and it is the only paradigm we will ever know.

There are three types of knowledge

What is known
What can be known

What can never be know

What was there 2 seconds before the big bang when time was birthed? Is unknowable. Because we as humans have no reference to a world absent of time. We are created and are created in a university where time flows forward and the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe. It is impossible, by our construction, to imagine something outside of our construction— no one in the history of life has done this. Even Einstein’s theory of time-space is modeled on visual concepts that we recognize from our built world.

Einstein Was Right: Space-Time Smooth, Not Foamy | Space


FURTHER READING

  • DEATH OF EXPERTISE C: The Campaign against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

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References

References
1 Kant: A Complete Guide to Reason
2 One-way knowledge is dying is because people have no value for hard-won knowledge acquisition. Someone could spend 4 years on a topic and it is written off by one guy who spent 2 seconds thinking about it. It is beyond disrespectful.
3 Slavery, Adam Smith’s Economic Vision and the
Invisible Hand
4 No matter how good an argument is presented, like this article, remember an article is a single work of a person or persons to promote a point of view they believe in. Critical flaws might be embedded, unknown to the reader, in any work, no matter how well-meaning the author is. Knowledge must be weighted relative to other knowledge on the same topic for its value to truly be known.
5 Ocacia on what it takes to run a made-in-Africa business
6 Bourdieu (French sociologist) believed that cultural capital played an important, and subtle role. For both Marx and Bourdieu the more capital, you have the more powerful you are. Bourdieu defined cultural capital as ‘familiarity with the legitimate culture within a society; what we might call ‘high culture. He saw families passing on cultural capital to their children by introducing them to dance and music, taking them to theatres, galleries and historic sites, and by talking about literature and art over the dinner table. He goes on to state that ALL attitudes to art are informed by levels of education. And that every cultural artifact has a message, and knowing the value of say Picasso or Chopin has a value in Western society. Naturally, this translates into an economic value that is agreed upon globally, by European agency. But someone somewhere had to put a value on these cultural items. And that is what makes a culture dominant.
7 A business series on why things cost what they cost
8 Language Death
9 And we know at this time the population of North Africa was certainly not all non-African, and this will become important to show that the fictional Two-Africa model is racist inspired
10 THE EFFECT OF THE TSETSE FLY ON AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT Marcella Alsany
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Alik Shahadah

'Alik Shahadah is a master of the Documentary format and progressive African scholar. Shahadah uses film for social revolution. A multi-award winning recipient including the rare UNESCO award for his critically acclaimed film on slavery 500 Years Later.. He is best known for authoring works, which deal with African history, social justice, environmental issues, education and world peace. He states his primary motivation for making these films was being frustrated with "Tarzan's voice" as the central narrator in African stories. He noted that while scholarship challenges these issues, the common knowledge of the majority is generally unaltered, writing alone is not enough, the ultimate tool for re-education on a mass level is film

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