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These unknown unknowns blog posts have been looking at those things that inhibit our seeing unknown things by naturally imposed veils, walls, fogs, distance, time and space, and by artificial human intellectual impediments, such as intentional obfuscation or pre-placed stumbling blocks, which are imposed by people who intend to promulgate falsehoods. The question becomes, are there qualities of the knowable unknowns that are discernible even before there is any clue as to what they might be, and conversely are there characteristics of unknown unknowables that others claim to know, but which are in fact fabrications of their imagination, or intentional lies? Sometimes the answers to these types of unknowables are labeled, “Too good to be true.” On the Trustworthiness Scale below, the TST~0 ideas are nearly always too good to be true, and are usually interesting stories made up to soothe unanswerable fears with colorful, but unfounded assumptions. The TST~14 concepts at the other end of the scale are unknown and perhaps unknowable concepts, and these are too obscure for even the most brilliant and informed people to attain convincing answers to, and all authorities knowledgeable on the subject might challenge the methods of inquiry and the results. However, these TST~14 problems differ from TST~0 ones in that the people pursuing them are seeking testable answers that are acceptable even to hostile observers coming at the problem from different assumptions. TST~0 answers are presented as absolute, untestable, and only believable if you accept their entire absolute system. If you question any part of what their authorities present you are instantly condemned, and if unwilling to accept their dogma, you are punished.

Trustworthiness of Information

Trustworthiness of Information – click to enlarge

One quality of human nature is curiosity to know new things about the natural universe we live within, but there are other human qualities like being eager to hear a good story. The Universe is infinitely wonderful! It permits all things that can be done; it prevents all things that can’t be done. People also are attracted to participating in something grander than their personal self. Seemingly conflicting with these is a desire to have easily understood absolute answers to questions to which, by their very formulation, there is no answer. If 0 is a number like 1, 2, 3, and 4, then if a number like 4 divided by 2 gives 2, then 4 divided by 0 will give something. Is it 4, because it hasn’t been divided by anything and therefore is still 4, or has 4 been divided by something infinitely small and therefore the resulting number is infinitely big? Well, neither functions in our world of physical reality, although there may be some perverse mathematics where it does function. If so it would come back into the world of the knowable unknowns, and possibly find a use. One typical tip-off that an idea is questionable is that it gives you comfort if you simply believe it to be true. A typical indication that an unacceptable idea is reality-based is that we get consistent real-world results when we probe reality in the same way.