leadership has nothing to do with authority, Rather, it has to do with –among other things– knowledge and being a servant-leader…
An individual's responsibility for leadership is not dependent on authority.... the deep-rooted assumption that authority should equal responsibility is the root of much organizational evil. I believe misunderstanding around this issue is rampant, problematic, and runs so deep in our consciousness that we don't even realize it.
— US Marine Corps Leadership Manual
I have been studying “Scrum” it is a process of continually improving. It is applicable to everything from business (where it started) to life, to the military to making breakfast. In studying it I have been reading a book Scrum: The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Sutherland. While reading the book I stumbled on a section that talked about leadership and responsibility.
“… leadership has nothing to do with authority, Rather, it has to do with –among other things– knowledge and being a servant-leader. [The Leader] can’t simply say something has to be done a particular way. He has to persuade, cajole, and demonstrate that his way is the right way, the best way.” in Scrum: The art of doing twice the work in half the time by Jeff Southerland
Technology is not your savior, it isn’t even the road to utopia. It isn’t a magic bullet that can cure the world’s woes.
Technology is not your savior, it isn’t even the road to utopia. It isn’t a magic bullet that can cure the world’s woes.
I have come to learn that people want what they want, and technology is just a tool they use. Even in the absence of technology they still try to do what they want. Technology just facilitates what ever they are doing.
So, if a doctor wants to save lives… technology can help.
If law enforcement wants to stop a crime… technology can help.
If a criminal want to steal… technology can help.
If someone wants to blackmail… technology can help.
If someone want to cheat on their spose… guess what… technology can help.
If a person wants to learn… yep technology can help.
Pick anything people want good or bad. Technology can help them do it better if used properly.
I think the problem is people WANT things that are detrimental to themselves and others. It has been that way since the beginning of recorded history. Look at slavery. As far back as history can tell me there have been slaves. Slaves were the OLD form of technology. They could help you do what you wanted to do, better, faster and cheaper. It was just more directly abusing of people, and yet those who did it justified their actions. Technology has helped us distance ourselves from the abuse, but we still do the same things.
So the problem isn’t technology. It is people, they always want MORE, faster, better and cheaper. And they are willing to sacrifice others to do it. Technology just allows them to do it better. Some people want to hurt and destroy others, pick your cause, technology just allows them to do it better.
So… what we are looking at is that people haven’t changed really since we have recorded history. We have always saught what we wanted, and used anything to get it. Including other people, technology, the law, or religion.
Some people are charitable, but for MOST it is a means to an end. They want to feel better about them selves, they expect something in return, even if it is in the after life, or maybe it is on a camera, or maybe a tax deduction, or any other of a dozen reasons. Again the using something to get what we want, and guess what technology can help them do it.
Since the begining of history, people have saught new ane more creative ways to do things that benifit hemselves ussually at the cost of others. So let me ask the following:
Do you think new laws will fix the problem? We (humans) have been making new laws since the begining I’ll wager.
Do you think a “better” technology will fix the problem? Since we invented the plow we keep getting better technology, yet we have the same problems.
Well maybe we need better education… that will fix the problem right? Is our education better than it was in the stone age? Do you think it has made people better? Smarter sure… but better? We have a ton of technology to help people learn.
Do you think the “removal” of opposing forces and bad influences will fix the problem? Ever hear of Hitler he used that kind of logic? Ever hear of ethnic clensing? Would your removal be justified? Would your cleansing be more correct or humane?
The only thing in common with all the history I know is… people. Technologies change, laws change, ideals change, money changes… but it is always people.
So how do you fix the problem of people?
I don’t think there is an answer out there that hasn’t been tried.
I finally have an answer to the age old question. For those of you who know me I’m not a slacker, I’m almost never idle long. I’m rarely well focused. But I’m almost always doing something. Although some times that something is just playing video games… (I’ll be honest…)
I’ve had the question posed to me several times in life
Why put off till tomorrow what you can do today?
After 20+ years of working, and 10+ years of having my own family, I can safely say, there will always be more to do today than can possibly be done. If you are always putting off the important things in life to “take care of things”… You are missing out on the things that seem the most trivial, but are probably by far the most valuable. When you finish that task at work, guess what… there will be another. When you finish that chore at home guess what… you can find another. There will ALWAYS be something to do for those of you, who like me are looking for something to do. You have to chose to put off till tomorrow what can be put off till tomorrow some times.
Now I know there are some people out there who LIVE by the slogan… why do anything today, when we can keep pushing it to another day… forever. This is not what I’m encouraging at all. The things that NEED to get done should be. But the the things that CAN be left out… probably should be. There are more important things in life than having a perfect lawn, or “most overtime worked” awards … You know I’ve never seen one of those… anyway this was just meant to be a quick post to a thought I had, and that was it.
I have had 2 factor authentication shoved down my throat for… almost 3 years now. I’ve been told “It is easy, just one extra step”, “It is FAR more secure.”, “You’ll barely notice it is there…”. Along with a lot of other things…
Disclaimer: I am an IT professional. I dabble in security. I am NOT a security expert by any stretch of the imagination. I am platform and OS agnostic. I use PC/Mac/Arm/Motorola. I run Linux/Unix/*BSD/Windows */Mac OS */Android/iOS/Other. I work in an industry that is paranoid about security… sometimes for very good reason. Sometimes just to prove they can force others to do so.
So. I have had 2 factor authentication touted as the security answer to everything for… almost 3 years now. I’ve been told
“It is easy, just one extra step”,
“It is FAR more secure.”,
“You’ll barely notice it is there…”.
I’ve also been told a lot about password security…
Never use the same password in more than one place,
Never use the same password twice,
Never write your password down
Never share your password EVER
Always make the password long use letters, numbers, and symbols. If possible make sentence.
Change your passwords frequently
Ok… so where does this leave a person who is TRYING to follow the security guidelines? Well it leaves you in a password and authentication nightmare. The only way one can be on the internet and on more than just a few sites is to keep a list of passwords… a huge security no no! The only other alternative is a password manager… Well that has it’s own password AND (in most cases) 2 factor authentication. So for all of you IT administrators here is what it would look like for a NORMAL person to log into a system that is EASY:
Sit down at my PC and boot up… hope for no BIOS password.
Get to the log in screen. Remember the correct login. Am I at work? Home? School? Other? Ok, I remembered that password. You can’t use a password manager here, you haven’t even got into your system yet.
Ok, I’m into my system. Lets fire up my web based Microsoft Email…. wait… I need my password manager first.
Open Password manager, Remember password… Wait… it needs 2 factor authentication. Crap where is my phone… is it at my desk? in my car? in my coat pocket? charging in the docking station? hmm..
So, I grab my phone… Crap what was my password? (I’ve been told not to use biometrics, like fingerprints, for passwords… biometrics can be taken without one’s consent by criminals or law enforcement. ) Then I login. Where is my 2 Factor app… or where is the Text that authenticates… either way I’m hunting and waiting.
Ah-ha! found it. Gotta wait just a second or two it is about to expire… ok here is the code let me type…. ok got the code and enter.
Wow I’ve opened my password manager.
Ok back to checking my mail, go to the Microsoft website… put in the credentials for my email… Viola I’m in! wait… no i’m not. It needs two factor authentication because the policy for this group requires it… Ok where is my phone again.
Found my phone but it is locked again… unlock… where is the two factor app for this program… ah here it is. Ok lets type it…. crap I must have typed it was wrong… ug now I have to do it again…. Got it.
Yay! I can open my email.
Huh… my boss just sent me a link to site xyz… ok let me log in and get what they wanted… wait I need to sign up? Gees. Ok
Enter my email, information, blah blah blah… Go!
Wait for confirmation email… Done. Account Activated….
Doh.. I have to setup 2 factor authentication!!!? Really?! ok… what app do I need to use? or do I need to use my phone number?
Install app (and took picture..?), or confirm phone number…. done!
Attempt to login to site… username… password… wait… authentication code… done.
Alright… good to go.
I didn’t mention anything about file encryption, transfer protocols, physical security, or network security… That just adds layers on top of this.
This whole system is predicated on me NOT losing my phone, or phone number. So… if I forget to PAY for my phone bill, anything sent by text I lose access too. If I lose my phone, anything by 2 factor app (or text) I’m screwed. Most sites offer this wonderful option of allowing several ways to authenticate… text OR email OR app. Well that is great unless I’ve lost my phone… because then I can’t get to my email, or my text or an app. Because my email requires 2 factor authentication… I can’t get texts, and my apps would be gone. Huh… Did anyone really think this through?
This whole system is also based on the concept that I am the ONLY person who has access to my phone…. a very dangerous assumption. Do any of you readers have Kids? or Family members who needed access to your phone? hmm…
I can say from personal experience. Last year I temporarily “lost” my phone for about 3 days. I was unable to access ANYTHING, it crippled my work and personal life. It took quite a while to straighten out. I was lucky. VERY lucky.
So my message to programmers (of which I’m one) or administrators there has to be a better way. This is awful for a normal person, this is awful for me. No wonder people don’t follow security guidelines and write passwords down, and use the same or remarkably similar passwords over again…
My message to users, make sure you print up verification codes AHEAD of time. Once you are locked out it is too late. But then again that is about the same as writing your password on a piece of paper isn’t it? So aren’t we back at the beginning? Bad security? I guess there is no way around it is there.
Well good luck, be you a user or an admin. I do not envy either of you. I’m making my own way.
I am going to start this post with a disclaimer. I do NOT have all the answers. I am taking a philosophy class. I am a technology person. I will be speaking in VERY broad terms and using a VERY broad brush. I know there are exceptions to almost everything, I’ve met most of them.
My topic today comes from my philosophy class, a project I’ve been stewing on for the last 12 years, an internet video I watched yesterday, and several conversations I’ve had with people. This is not fully formed yet, and I still have a lot of research to do on it. I however did want to post this out there for thoughts. I want to talk about how people think about knowledge and how they gauge truth and how that impacts society in general.
Foundational thinking: this could be summed up with Plato’s concept of JTB (justified true belief), In order to say that you “know” something you have to be able to make assertions that are correct and infer a correct conclusion from it. That you can define its parts. That in order to know something you have to “prove it” with some “logical” process is the concept.
The problem of infinite recursion: In order to say you know something you must define all of its components, but in order to define its components you must define the definitions of all the sub-components, but in order to define all of the sub-components you must define all the sub-sub-components… etc… it goes on for ever. There are several proposed solutions to this… one of them is network thinking
example of infinite recursion:
duck = type of bird
type = a category or classification
of = expressing a relationship between a part and a whole
bird = a flying animal
category = a grouping of something
or = a word used to link alternatives
classification = …
…. you get the idea.
Network thinking: The concept that in order to “know” something you simply need to have enough pieces of data in your “network” that are congruent with that information. If you have information from 3 or 4 sources and they all seem to be congruent with each other, that information may be considered as “known”. That number may change depending on the person, circumstances, or type of information under question.
Network: A lose term meaning a source of information. It could be a literal computer network or social network. It could be a loosely related group of publications and professional contacts, it can be personal experience. ANY source of information, data or opinion can be in a network.
From the top
I know there are many forms of thinking and I did NOT cover them all. I did cover the two I want to talk about though. In my parents generation and some of my generation the predominate form of thinking (that I have seen) is the Foundational type of thinking. There are MANY flaws with this mode of thinking, it leads to infinite recursion, as well as the general philosophy that TRUTH can never be truly found or known, because even if we found it we could never really know it. My generation really bore out the fruit of the idea that truth can never be found. It lead to wide spread hopelessness and a general lack of purpose. As a response to this the concept of a “network” of truth or thought has come out of the mix. The idea was if we can never “know” for sure, if we know enough points that do not conflict with a concept that we can probably assume it is true.
This network model is applied by individuals in both the macro and the micro. Inside the individual and outside. In order for a network to remain stable its nodes must be congruent, and because people inherently tend to seek stability incongruity becomes a destabilizing factor. These networks are not just used in the formation scientific ideas, but in the formation of self worth, sexuality (I don’t mean gender preference I mean how they think about sex… the brain is the biggest sex organ in the human body), spirituality, appearance and much more. When in-congruent ideas are presented to an individual in this context the in-congruent idea is not just a challenge to the concept… it is a personal assault at the deepest levels. The network node (idea) in question is a part of the stability of this person, if this becomes in-congruent, it might devalue or change something else, causing a cascade, or even worse… systemic questioning. Because to question the network is to reject the network or at the very least cause an incongruity that cannot be reconciled. When faced with this type of threat it is simply easier to reject the threat (the person doing the questioning or the idea) and push them out of reach that to solve the conflict of thought.
People who function primarily in a network model require many points of contact to know things, including themselves. If a person functions in network model, the network tends to be fundamental to the identity of this person. It defines who they are, who they are not. The more points of contact they have and the more congruent it is the more stable the information base is, the more stable the person feels about their world view, about them self. I think this is very evident in the emergence of social media and its profound impact on first world culture.
Once someone is pushed out of a network, they either find a new more appropriate network OR they make one of their own. Each social network in turn becomes a specialized condensed version of a social structure, philosophy, brand or concept. Although it works the same with other networks social networks are easier to visualize, but news networks, computer networks, and religions work the same general way. Something that the internet age has inadvertently provided is the ability to make truth virtually irrelevant.
These groups (or networks) do not bother to really argue with each other or debate facts any more. Instead, they manufacture what the OTHER GROUPS represent and argue against their version of the other group. (I believe this was known in the past as a straw man argument.) The local group’s version of the “other group” (or argument) is often the worst possible representation of the outside group. Because the arguments and representations are made so provocative… they get repeated and talked about… Even if no one can prove them. Our media, in order to get ratings, pushes this information out there because it is so provocative, making it MORE provocative each time. Our internet algorithms do this too… the most talked about things are PUSHED to the top of the rankings (even if they are NOT true). This pushing and splintering of the internet has caused extreme polarization. Groups that are fundamentally against each other not just in idea or principal but to the very core for reasons that they themselves don’t necessarily even know any more.
We have built a system that is literally designed to push popular information into the forefront. The information in the forefront is usually the worst. Each network (social group, religion, news outlet, political party, economic class, medical journal, scientific community…) becomes its own isolated network, which allows false ideas to run rampant. Because so little is fact checked and so little logic is used, it allows for micro (or macro) cults to be formed. Each group targeting what the see as “the enemy” and vilifying them. Add to the mix, our current culture is designed (or functions, take your pick) in such a way that questioning the group can, and very well may, get you kicked out of the group to which you desperately need to belong to in order to maintain your identity.
You can add in people who intentionally spread misinformation and on top of that the people who report incorrect information just because they don’t know better. It makes finding real facts incredibly difficult for the average person. Making it even more difficult even IF someone actually wanted to look up the truth of a situation or the facts involved in something to distinguish between fact and fiction.
In the end… this leaves us with groups of people who are highly emotionally charged who are unwilling to be reasoned with. Who are don’t want to be criticized or questioned. Doing so automatically disqualifies you from being able to contribute to the group. This is NOT a good place to be. It allows room for people who are manipulative, persuasive or coercive to build networks of their own cults.
While you read this I am sure you had a network/group or two cross your mind that you believe may do this, please be willing to consider that someone somewhere in the world is probably looking at YOU thinking you are in a network doing the same thing. You are not exempt from this. If you got offended at the statement you should probably consider it even more.
When quantity, quality and speed become primary factors by which everything is measured, everything else takes a backseat, including the essential aspects of life including such things as happiness, spontaneity and the freedom to fail.
Last year I heard the concept presented to me that one way relationships were dehumanizing. I heard this in context of our relationship with God (or gods). Here was the argument:
If you have to comply with a set of divine directives from a perfect God, it is dehumanizing. Because the relationship is one way. YOU make all the change. The God (or gods) just have to make the directives, you must comply or you fall short of perfection (or the rules) and suffer the consequences.
This was a very profound argument. Made by a christian minister whom I respect very much, and he was talking about Nietzsche’s philosophy. I had an astounding thought of my own. It is probably not new in the world but it was new in my mind. WE, the human race, have chosen to dehumanize our selves as a group. Please hear out my thoughts.
The human race so far back as I can look back in history, which is not very far I will admit, has always had this need to progress forward and drive on. We as a group seem to have this need to continually move in the direction we see as forward at almost any cost. We look to these mythical ideas of progress, advancement, idealism, technology, perfection, etc. and we push towards them often times without thinking it through, or often being forced to push towards them by society or other forces conscious of them or not.
We have started turning people, relationships, and living things into formulas and plans. Businesses, governments, churches, and even individual relationships have tried to reduce individuals into components that can be predictable, replaceable and formulaic. We want them to follow a set of rules that we understand, can predict and control. While we ourselves are forced to follow rules that are in turn understandable, predictable and controllable. After all how can we be effective, efficient, or productive when we don’t know your output? or we don’t know how many widgets you can make in an hour for the rest of your life? or how many sermons on tithing can your parishioners bear before they stop showing up yet still be able to pay the bills? or how sexy do you need to be to keep your partner interested another week? How much money do you need to make to be successful?
We have inadvertently turned everything into a metric. Because of science and math, neither of which is bad mind you, we’ve started to turn everything into a set of numbers to be quantified and calculated, to determine the rules that govern them. Whether it is about people’s morality, sexuality, work output, or breaking points. We take all of these metrics and turn it into vast amounts of data. The data warehouses we fill now are immense, zettabytes of data have been probably been collected at this point if not more. This “data” concept mixes in with the post industrial revolution as well where everything must be maximized and minimized, not just macro but on the micro scale.
We have think tanks, artificial intelligent programs, universities, and businesses all trying to find and the correlate the data searching for hidden “rules”. And just like the rules from a divine being, rules from a set of data points are just as dehumanizing, (and often just as wrong), because the formulas are often wrong, and the suppositions are wrong, or data is missing, and correlations do not imply causality, or and the reality that past performance does not predict future behavior seems to be forgotten. Organic beings are not machines that can be made to perform repetitive tasks over and over again with consistent quality or without failing at a pre-determined point.
By taking this road we are choosing to dehumanize ourselves. We are creating boxes for ourselves to live in, with rules that we construct from guesses that we made from incomplete and inaccurate data.
Even with ALL of the information that can possibly be gathered we may be able to come up with accurate models, but I don’t believe we will ever actually understand all of it, nor accurately predict all of it. If we could what would be the point of living, at that point you would be doing exactly what the formula expect/determined/wanted. Isn’t what people hate about serving a divine set of rules? So why are they trying to make a new one? Unless they are trying to make a new one that they control the formula or rules themselves?
But it isn’t just big bad businesses, governments or institutions doing this. We do as individuals do too. We have become so used to things happening on a schedule, happening at a predictable price, with a certain quality, that we get ANGRY when that doesn’t happen. Think about it. The last time you went to a restaurant and did NOT get exactly what you ordered as fast as you wanted for the price you expected… were you angry or upset? Was it because the person behind the counter got it wrong? Maybe they didn’t hear you, didn’t type it right, or may be the person making the food didn’t read the order right, or just didn’t care, or didn’t make it right, or maybe the person picking it up just grabbed the wrong one? Who knows, there are probably a million factors. Each one of the biological units involved could have made a mistake. I bet the computers did what they were supposed to do. I bet the stove did what it was supposed to do, even the utensils probably did what they were supposed to. (Although utensils are in a physical unpredictable world they could have failed…) Or think about that most recent jerk in traffic who cut you off, or almost ran you off the road, or hit your car, … they didn’t follow the rules, the one’s you follow. Do you think of any these people as less human, as sub-par, worse, dumber, more inconsiderate, or lower than you? Could you do it better if you were them? Is it easier to think of them that way?
Now lets take the lesson home a bit, for those of you a bit older, what about your spouse or significant other? What about your job, you put in your time, you followed the rules but your boss decided to spend your bonus on a new SUV for himself instead of your bonus? Did you (in your head) collect metrics and data, make a formula, correlate what should happen, make up a set of rules then dehumanize the situation into a result you wanted (like a bonus?) ? Did you get your rules about marriage(s) or dating relationship(s) from a magazine? Cozmo or Penthouse? Both lead to dehumanization, you create rules that are in essence formulas that do not allow people to be organic, or just be people. People do not follow pre-defined rules. There must be give and take. Some complex rules try to build in give and take, but if in the end they are still about producing a result, or a quantity, or a quality, or a product: it is dehumanizing. By the word product I don’t mean something you necessarily have to package with shrink wrap and sell, it can be an idea, a faith, or even a self brand.
I’m not saying Rules and Formulas are all bad. Life is far more complicated than that. What I am saying is you cannot reduce LIFE and people (or God) into a set of rules and formulas. IF you do this in any area of your life you will become sadly disappointed, angry and bitter. You will have USED the people around you to get what you wanted out of the formula, and NOT experienced LIFE, and often times the formula’s only work for a while. When people figure out they have been reduced to a formula (even sub-contentiously) they break the formulas or the relationships. The people in your life would only have been variables in your formula, means to an ends. Not people.
"When quantity, quality and speed become primary factors by which everything is measured, everything else takes a backseat, including the essential aspects of life including such things as happiness, spontaneity and the freedom to fail."
We have been taught that science, or scientific method/reasoning, will solve all of our problems from the time we were little. (At least I was.) Scientific method will save the day! Hurah! But we are trying to apply science to things that cannot be touched, tasted, seen, smelled, heard, or measured. The core aspects of life. Science cannot solve everything because not everything is tangible, much less reproducible. Sorry science, you have your place, just not places that can’t be physically explored. The entire point of science was to separate the mystical from the physical. Now science wants to break into areas that cannot be measured or reproduced and it is ill equipped to do so, because from its very inception it was designed, created and built to only look at the real, the tangible and solid world around us. The same song may make a person happy 3 days in a row but on the 4th make them very sad. This is not reliably reproducible, and is contingent on so many things science cannot hope to claim to understand all the nuances. I am not saying that scientific thought and observation cannot be helpful in these areas I am saying they are not the answer. They are not the solution to the REAL problems in life.
I think the final point of my blog post is that we as a species are choosing to dehumanize our selves, we are putting ourselves by choice into rules and formulas where we have to produce according to a formula, and that it is very one sided. The formula and the rules do to not bend to us or take into account our lives, or wants, our needs or the very essence of who we are. Rules are important, we cannot have life or society without them however we cannot continue living when we reduce everything into an output. Think about this the next time you have dealings with a person, it is not necessarily about a transaction where you want to achieve a transnational goal or an objective, it is about life. You may need something or want something from a person or group, but if you are always following a formula in life or applying a set of rules to get what you want, you will be sorely disappointed. If you feel disillusioned and used in life look at the rules and formulas that have been applied to you and start to question them. You can’t just throw all of them out the window, but neither do you have to accept them all either. Everyone has been on both sides of this, both the user and the used, some people have been more on one side than the other. But take an inventory of where you are and start to question. I am.
Just one last note, I know I already did the wrap up but I wanted to include this, we often do this to ourselves. We think of what we should be according to some formula or rule that we understand be it from religion, or friends, or tv or where ever, and then we think less (or more) of our selves than we ought.
I recently signed up for a philosophy class and I chose to type up an answer to the question: “Is belief good enough for knowledge?”. Here is my answer:
Is belief good enough for knowledge?
Interesting question, I think it comes down to how you frame it. I believe… Belief is a prerequisite of knowledge. If you do not believe something exists or can happen how can you have knowledge of it or conceive it? The testing of belief leads to knowledge if you pursue it, however it does not have to. I will put in a joke I heard from a science teacher as a thought.
A man starts an experiment (this is not a very humane experiment… but this is hypothetical so take it with a grain of salt). This man takes a frog, sets it on the table, and slams his hand own on the table behind it. The frog makes a wild leap. The man measures it. The man then proceeds to cut off one of the front legs of the frog and stitch it up. He repeats his experiment. The frog jumps, but it is lopsided and does not go nearly as far, and the man measures the results. The man then proceeds to cut off the other front leg and stitch it up. He en repeats his experiment. The frog slides forward a bit, the man measures the results again. He then cuts off one of the hind legs, and does the same thing. This time when he slams his and on the table the sad frog just kinda slides forward a bit with one leg. He measures the results. Finally the man removes the frog’s last leg… he repeats the experiment. The frog doesn’t move. The conclusion the man came to… Frogs with no legs are deaf. As a side note he was able to repeat his results reliably under all conditions.
I know that was long, but I think it made my point: just because we have observed the world, measured it, and even tested it, that does not mean our conclusions will always be knowledge. Some of the things our grandparents thought of as knowledge are truly laughable now. I read a science book from the 1890’s and it was pretty funny. Yet at the time it was treated as fact, people who disagreed were uncouth or uneducated. Will the thoughts I have, or the thoughts you have be just as dated or laughable to our grandchildren? In my opinion… probably.
So according to what I understand so far of philosophy, knowledge is belief that we/I have tested to our/my satisfaction. There MAY always be another question, test, or vantage point that could blow it away. That however does not mean there always will be, and I think that was the point of one of the speakers we may never know if what we had was true knowledge because we may never know if it could stand all possible testing.
I believe the average person has thousands of beliefs that are untested in their head that they rely on every day to function. I say belief because many people have not actually thought through or even considered them. They are innate. People believe they will continue existing tomorrow, they trust in social contracts, they believe that brushing their teeth will keep their teeth clean. Have you ever “tested” to see if brushing your teeth actually makes them cleaner? or prevents cavities? I mean, it makes “sense”… but then again in the 1890’s so did the theory that steam caused earthquakes. You believe brushing your teeth helps and there is nothing wrong with that. We have to believe things every day. We could not possibly “prove” everything in life. Everyone has underlying beliefs (in my opinion… my belief). We accept that some things are “knowledge” because others have told us, does that count as knowledge? Your dentist told you that brushing your teeth helps keep them clean and cavity free. Does that make it true? Did he test it? Or did someone tell him? Was it in some medical journal? Do I trust the medical journal? How do I test that? What about that infomercial on the TV at 2AM should I trust what it tells me?
My point is we all believe a lot of things. We think we know some things. Belief has to be enough because it is the only way to find knowledge. If you don’t believe matter is made up of atoms how or why would you bother to look? Why would you bother to conduct an experiment that atoms exist, unless you believe they exist and you want to prove your belief right or wrong.
So finally to address the starting question: Is belief enough for knowledge? Possibly. It is possible to believe something that is knowledge to others without knowing or proving it. It is possible to use belief to head asymptotically towards knowledge. However by definition belief is not knowledge. Belief is what we make of it, it is a tool. We need it to function, and we can use it to lead us to more tested belief, or we can stake a claim in belief and use belief itself as rational. It is nothing more than what we make of it.