#mental-model #philosophy #rationality #epistemology #knowledge
# [[Epistemic status]]
# Compound Knowledge
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![[Pasted image 20220618151614.png]]
>The root vs. the branches. — What we are after is the ROOT and not the branches. The root is the real knowledge; the branches are surface knowledge. Real knowledge breeds “body feel” and personal expression; surface knowledge breeds mechanical conditioning and imposing limitation and squelches creativity.
>~ [[Bruce Lee]]
Compound **knowledge** is [[Philosophy/Epistemology/Knowledge|knowledge]] that generalise. Despite I believe [[The value of metaphysical statements|metaphysical knowledge can have some value]], [[Science|scientific]] knowledge seems to compound better because it is easier to iterate on top of scientific theories, to develop new knowledge from the shoulders of giants.
>The most valuable knowledge is always discovered last: but the most valuable knowledge consists of methods. ~ [[Nietzsche]]
By last, I think he meant, [[Philosophy/Epistemology/Knowledge|knowledge]] that lie on top of the stack.
>Levels of explanation work together like layers in a cake. **It is impossible to get the cake’s full flavour by ignoring the top layers and just sticking to the base**.
>~ [[Chiara Marletto]]
![[DALL·E 2022-07-11 22.24.44 - a huge pile of books overflowing in all directions, painting by Van Gogh.png]]
One very important heuristic in modern society is **compound knowledge**, if you spend your time learning narrow and volatile knowledge, how to use Wordpress, how to use X tool, you will end up knowing nothing.
Learn the fundamentals, [[Philosophy]], [[Mathematic]], [[Physic]], [[Biology]], [[Game Theory]], [[Trade]], [[Computing]].
>Skills that transfer: street fights, off-path hiking, seduction, broad erudition. Skills that don't: school, games, sports, laboratory - what's reduced and organized ~ [[Nassim Taleb]]
![[DALL·E 2022-07-26 21.34.29.png]]
>All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest ~ [[Naval Ravikant]]
Compound knowledge even make sense at the [[Brain|hardware]] level
>However, if you are not trained in mathematics, then equations and other mathematical notations will appear as meaningless scribbles. You may even recognize an equation as one you have seen before, but **without a reference frame, you will have no idea how to manipulate it to solve a problem**. You can be lost in math space, in the same way you can be lost in the woods without a map.
>~ [[Jeff Hawkins]]
Your brain need the fundamental reference frames to build stacking ones (ex: understand algorithms before understanding [[Programming|programming]])
![[DALL·E 2022-07-11 22.29.45 - a pyramid of human brains, digital art by Escher.png]]
## the least fundamental, the more likely affected by statistical error
Humans do a lot more statistical errors in [[Philosophy/Psychology/Psychology|psychology]] or [[Biology/Health/Health]] than [[Physic|Physics]]
We deal so badly with statistics, it's not intuitive
So the problem is that if you [[Relying on authority is time-saving|rely on authority]], you are very likely building wrong [[Belief|belief]]s
![[DALL·E 2022-07-29 21.21.09 - Einstein lost in a mathematical paradox, painting by Picasso.png]]
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