Thursday, July 5

no place like home

i love the word epistemology.

-ology words in general are rather lovely words. zoology. tautology. phrenology.

but i love the world epistemology because it is so grand and theoretical. it seeks to untangle the massive web of beliefs and ignorances, small instances of simple, factual learning and large manifestations of unexplainable knowledge. it is so delightfully meta, epistemology.

i am not an epistemologist, but is fascinating to me how we come to know things. once upon a time i firmly insisted there was no such place as Burundi. there are a lot of things i don't know, and this was one of them. how impertinent was i, on this occasion, asserting my ignorance into a fact? there is no such place as Burundi. what a ridiculous name for a country.

and then he pulled out his atlas, consulted its index, and pointed to the little African nation on page six hundred and something. there is such a place as Burundi. but just moments ago i had known there was no such place. an atlas and a finger and a little printed string of letters and my brain made space for the existence of this far away place.

i don't know why that moment sticks in my mind the way it has for so long. knowing things. not knowing things. revelation.

what else am i so certain about that might be proven wrong so swiftly? what other ignorances do i cling to so adamantly?

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