Personal Experience and the Failure of Understanding

As a thought experiment, let’s imagine that for one minute you could know every single thing that occurred throughout Texas, in private and public spaces, every where, every thing, with every living and non-living creature. In such a case, you would only know what happened during that one minute in 7.0739 percent of the United States and only in 0.0014 percent of the Earth (talking about the surface). And if such were possible, you would never have time to fully process, analyze, understand, record, and remember everything that occurred in that one minute.   

My hope is to remind all of us that being as informed as possible is vital, informed about the experiences, hopes, and fears of other people. Just because you live without seeing overt poverty or racism or whatever, is no reason to dismiss it. A given person, at a given second can only possibly kind of know what is happening in something like 0.000001 percent of the United States.

Additionally, I hope to remind all of us that historical narratives are inherently incomplete and flawed, but that’s what makes it fun and important, too. 

See also: Inescapable Problems: Everyday Life, the Unseen, and the Shopping Mall

Andrew Joseph Pegoda



Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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