One certain way to seek (and sometime, find) a solution is trial and error. Conceptually, it appeared destined for oblivion as bulk of human knowledge grew to lessen the sea of unknown. As, a large part of knowledge created increasingly grows dated, the degree of uncertainty remains the same. Some might even say that over the past decade, it has grown!
Knowledge may also be defined on scale of certainty. If in a particular village the sun would rise between one specific tree on left and another specific tree (or rock) on right, one could be sure that this direction may safely be called east. Mystics have always made fun of the idea of such ‘ascertained’ knowledge.
Shankar called the world an illusion, advising the mortals to practice detachment. The stillness of such definite, unchanging world can only be envied where you have had ‘no time to stand and stare’ for centuries. Intellectuals before STEM were occupied with movements in Art, periods in Literature, ages in History. The generation in their thirties found great solace in their desktops – the beige colored boxes, which allowed them to become axis of a moving wheel, traversing whichever spoke happened to privilege with their curiosity. That in twenties had indeed seen those boxes but had eyes only for the sleek ones, which instead of a pet, they nestled on their laps. It had given them a physical mobility along with a virtual one.
And now comes still younger generation shaking their heads at shoulder-bending, lap-burning monstrosities that made you stop your car or drop the hair brush to answer a mail. The names, shapes and sizes of their axis-spinners are varied. Thus is it that techno-philosophers have come up with an all-encompassing term for such devices — desknots.
Commentator on intersection of science, technology and communication, Steven Johnson traces the development of human civilization on basis of communication-skill. Here is a clip of his TED talk on ‘Where good ideas come from’.
Darwinism might appear crude in hailing ‘struggle for survival’ in which, existence is granted to ‘fit’. Yet, it is only through process of multiple trials that the ‘fit’ is arrived at. No knowledge-bank contains certainty enough to arrive at desired solution without hitch. As all bastions of authority crumble into pieces in a world of changing virtualities, one can only pick the pieces and arrange them into as meaningful an arrangement as possible.
In an age of growing individual choices, desires and possibilities, exponential experience can rely on human strength of striving with hope to gain comprehension of self and world. Trial is not lack of knowledge or skill, it is refusal to accept the apparent authority of known (and thus, limited) truth. In the postmodern world, it is the only historical ideal that represents contemporary spirit.