Posted on | October 22, 2010 | No Comments
Albert Einstein is reportedly the originator of the following quote (already cited in a previous article), uttered in a moment of amusement or annoyance – it is hard to tell :
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
It is tempting to stop at the funny wit. But come to think of it, Einstein had probably measured the exact reach of each word. Quite likely he was right on all aspects as well.
To confirm this, we must twist semantics a little, and link stupidity with ignorance. Many educated people can be idiots at time, could you argue. Absolutely, and we will demonstrate why this is possible.
What is ignorance, if not the opposite of knowledge? Let us suppose we live in a world where there is but only one thing to be known (n=1). We could either be omniscient or completely ignorant. If the value of n increases, various levels of knowledge and ignorance begin to emerge. And if our universe is actually infinite, then the number of things to know is: 1, 2, 3… up until n, where n reaches towards the infinite.
Consequently, the amount of things we do not know, no matter what we do indeed know, will always tend to reach towards the infinite. We are each and every one of us perfectly ignorant!
Knowledge can be summarized thus : n/infinity = 0. The opposite equation holds true: n/0 = infinity.
It follows suit that our knowledge always equals 0 and our ignorance is always infinite. This infinite ignorance is reflected in an infinite number of ways to take the wrong decision when we are faced with any event, and, indirectly, appears to be the cause of infinite human stupidity: yours, mine and, of course, this article’s!