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By creating a structure with known facts there will appear gaps which haven’t been considered. The structure around will give some indication of the qualities of the facts that may be embedded within that need to be found and analyzed. These may be invisible to your inspection, but when you have a good idea of what you are searching for it becomes a more rational and understandable process to find and fill in what was previously unknown, obscure, misunderstood or missing. This procedure requires bouncing back and forth between rigidity and flexibility. A clearly defined rigidity makes the idea you have in mind comprehensible, but probably not exactly correct, and the habit of intentional flexibility permits the easy abandonment of things that don’t fit the pattern, or which don’t work when tested, but doesn’t deliver comprehensibility. It is important to maintain a clear and clean feedback with actual observed facts when working with a new theory. Fantasy is fine when trying to design a new theory and how it might fit the known facts, but it must be instantly abandoned when it conflicts with clearly discernible facts. A theory should avoid conflict with known facts, by changing to fit facts, rather than altering facts to fit the theory, but sometimes the facts might fit perfectly if the theory was subtly tweaked.

The series of template-driven charts called Meta-scales illustrates the method of generating new ideas worth exploring using a fill-in-the-blanks technique. When a few ideas appear to be in a continuum and can be placed on a linear scale with some common qualities, then there can probably be found a new list of synonyms to fill in between these known items. When each of these similar ideas are defined within a perpendicular list on the chart, then parallel concepts can be compared in a meaningful and consistent way. The chart may be created showing the categories where the in-between items may be given amplified discussion, and from this new ideas developed about the basic relationships of the whole system of thought.

The chart below came into being by using the methods discussed above.

Trustworthiness of Information

Trustworthiness of Information, click image for a bigger chart.

This is a way to discover unknown qualities about known things.