Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Non conscious misconceptions about value propositions

I was reading Borges "Otras Inquisiciones" (Other Inquisitions) , and I hit the essay about the cult of books.
He postulates that we have a very different perception today of the relative importance of written knowledge over spoken one. One comment really opened my eyes. He was talking about the burning of Alexandria's Library, and saying that for some historical figures it was not such a problem, because it was written word. It was not spoken word, that was the way that most people acquired their knowledge at that time. So losing some books was not a big deal.
That blew me away! One of the things that has always frustrated me is that if we could have missed the Obscurantism period, we may be at this time much more technologically advanced, and events like the burning of Alexandria's Library are very representative of the trigger (although far in the future) of this period...But then Borges made me realize that I was ascertaining the value of that destruction as if the cultural situation at that time was the same as now! 
I realized that when I start my different thought pathways I have to be very careful about the value propositions that I use as starting points. A lot of times I take them "as is", instead of realizing that they ARE value propositions, so per se they will have multiple factors that modify them, as in this case, the historical time where they should be applied. I will have to make sure to be more sistematic when I use a value proposition to base a thought pathway, as even if I consider something is "obvious", I may be (and will be most probably!) wrong.
Well, it's time to think another thought!

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