Archive of Month April 2008 :

What’s This About?

About spaces of knowledge. This term is understood here in a sense that lets almost every representation of knowledge fall under it. Thus knowledge always forms kind of a space, it can always be regarded and described as such.

So, what is to say of these knowledge spaces in general? Are there any recurring patterns, overall structures, binding rules, or even fundamental laws, actually?

That is our starting point. And the reason why our investigations should make sense.

Naturally, everything that may be expounded here cannot really be new. It must have been there all the time. And, for sure, many have long noticed this or that here and there. But perhaps not yet quite as a whole. That such a kind of view is very well needed – and realizable too – remains to be seen.

The Basics

of knowledge spaces can here, as a start, only be outlined, of course. For although in principle things are quite simple, yet for sure new questions will arise time and again asking for new answers. So that all threatens to grow more complicated. Not every information inevitably elucidates; appearing out of place or out of time many things rather obscure.

Which finds us, though hardly realizing it, right in the middle. For the above statement is no superficial platitude at all, but indeed a basic law of knowledge. A logical principle, as to speak.

It may be called simplicity. Knowledge must be simple. Simplification is a vital element of every gain of knowledge. Knowing must find simple forms. Only these can be grasped and effectively used.

Which brings us to the next basic principle, that of application. Knowledge could hardly be denoted as knowledge if it were never employed. But to be capable of being used it must be reproducible. Its usage reproduces it. Thus knowledge multiplies.

These two principles describe two opposite motions that sometimes may appear as contraction and expansion, for example. The former leads to formation of simple things, the latter to their propagation and distribution in space.

Thus we have found two fundamental forces or activities as constituent features of knowledge cooperating to generate and structure space.

Not bad for a start.


Once we have discovered a certain regularity, we try to recover this pattern elsewhere, everywhere. So our view on things changes, we see them with new eyes, in a new light. Thus many things may suddenly become clearer, finally making sense.

Yet it is just a matter of course that this cannot go on the same way forever. Time will come when we realize the boundedness of even the new view. Which then has become just this: one (no longer that new) view, just another way to look at things. Glasses that definitely should be taken off from time to time.

In principle knowledge is infinitely usable. It does not dissipate through its application. So its space is basically boundless. – On the other hand knowledge cannot be used but in some already existing space. Application is interaction with this context. And of course not all environments do fit equally well. Knowledge does not apply everywhere. So in this sense knowledge spaces very well have bounds.

But these bounds do not arise from the space itself. A certain way of seeing cannot see things unseeable to it. A limited knowledge does not know its limits. Knowing them is due to a new act of knowing.

Be that as it may, in general we are much more interested in the new wide perspective and the opening opportunities than in the narrowness of the old one. We hardly remember it once it is gone.

Although… where did it go? Does it still exist somewhere? And what about all these endless spaces? And the knowledge – left behind – as well as not yet gained…

Who cares?

From The Frontier

Knowledge is always whole and all-embracing. As soon as new things are discovered, they are already integrated.

But on the other hand, in particular the fact that there remains always something new to discover indicates that all knowledge is sort of limited.

Traditionally we resolve this contradiction in holding that knowledge advances. The limit of knowledge is a frontier being pushed farther and farther towards the unknown. Thus knowledge grows continuously.

This approach is somewhat aggressively expansive. Resistances must be overcome, the fight never ends, the enemy is everywhere. Not only does he crop up out there in the not yet known, but he is also lurking around in here where his name is oblivion. How easily the hard-won fortune may vanish into nothingness! Finally experience teaches that this cannot really be inhibited. Still we are far from accepting it. It’s just a weakness. And every weakness can and must be overwhelmed.

This is almost a natural law. That’s how it works. Only the fittest, the strongest will survive. This applies also – and even particularly – to knowledge. Because real knowledge must be true. There is only one knowledge, the true one. Knowledge cannot be false. What proved to be false was ultimately no knowledge. True knowledge does not accept any other beside it. Everything not according to our consolidated knowledge is merely illusion, even if others suppose to know it. Everything that is true, however, automatically integrates.

Not least this mental attitude drove us to accumulate more and more knowledge, while permanently enhancing the corresponding methods. Even the loss of knowledge, the forgetting, was pushed further and further back. By means of the new media, for instance, which allow us to represent knowledge in new forms and store them persistently.

But when we make ample use of them we probably become aware of a quite different face of knowledge. It turns out that knowledge has many faces. Which do not look all together in the same direction. And this is exactly what makes knowledge! The diversity, the different angles and perspectives. Together they draw an image which no single image can ever display.

True knowledge comprehends everything, it is the whole – and just for this reason there is no single all-embracing knowledge, but rather a basic substantial pluralism. With contradictions not to be wiped off.

Differences are essential for knowledge.