The Root Of Knowledge

Imagine you are faced with some kind of system that is too complex to be understood reductively and that you have some sort of goal you want to achieve. All you can do is try to interact with the system via some set of strategies, see which ones seem to kinda work and which ones don’t at all, then discard the ones that don’t and tweak the ones that do to make them work better.

If you are nature then your strategies are living organisms and the process is called natural selection.

If your goal is knowledge then your strategies are called hypotheses and this is called the scientific method or bayesian inference or induction. They are all the same thing.

If you are an economy then the strategies are called businesses and the process is the “invisible hand” of the market pushing resources towards more efficient businesses with better products. The result is innovation and growth.

This process happens in our brain. Neural connections that are used are strengthened while those that are not are broken.

A normal person trying to just get something done will probably call this process trial and error. It is the source of all knowledge and all progress. How efficiently and effectively you use it as an individual will determine your success in life. How efficiently and effectively your society uses it will determine its wealth and success. The goal of all social policy should be to promote this process and anything which interferes should be stripped away.

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