Limited Perspective


You and I are working with a limited perspective.  Your current perspective are a product of the past and present life experiences.  We do begin with a very limited perspective, as in the case of childhood, but soon we are exposed to a wide range of external stimuli.  Every time we encounter something new we increase what is often a constrained perspective.

When we are in a stationary position we can only glimpse a scene from a single angle.  If, as an example, our eyes record a collection of four lines joined together then we, with that perspective, can deduce that the four lines form what we call a square.  If we were stationary individuals, unable to move even a few millimeters, then our understanding of the scene is limited to that perspective.  After a considerable period of time we could make assertions of the totality of that scene.  However, there is more to know about that scene when movement is allowed.


Since we are free to move about then we can change our position in a scene and as such we can gain more knowledge.  Perhaps we can observe that what we originally thought of as a square has now become a cube.  This change in position can increase our understanding and thus broaden the limited perspective.  While I have used position and vision as two elements in collecting sense data, there are other senses such as smell, taste, touch--all of which can be used to increase our understanding.

In life there are ample examples of disagreements between parties and I believe that such derives from the limited perspective problem.  One party, with their limited perspective, can claim to be correct on a particular topic.  Another party, with their limited perspective, can also claim to be correct, but they possess a different argument/solution.  Both solutions may be correct, but only from their source angles.  If the parties are stationary they will never see the other angle.  However, if each party can move about then they have the possibility to understand the other party.

In a way there are several states at play: ignorance, willful ignorance, and acknowledgement of ignorance.  Ignorance is the state in which one's understanding comes from one view without being aware of other views.  Willful ignorance is a state in which one knows about other views but neglects to explore them, and as such they remain with a narrow view.  Acknowledgement of ignorance is a state in which one acknowledges their perspective, and knows that there are other possible perspectives.

If I were to have examples of each, and yes I could be wrong, I would give the following scenarios:
Ignorance: a tribesman giving a story of the creation of the world.
Willful Ignorance: disagreement between religions, and politicians.
Acknowledgement of Ignorance: the concept of falsifiability in science, multi-lingual software programmers dealing with other programmers.

One could say that the state of Acknowledgement of Ignorance is when someone has possession of wisdom.  However, one must be aware that not even wisdom has a totality of knowledge--it's simply a more broad limited experience.

Last note
It seems then that if one is working with a limited perspective and one understands this then one should attempt to broaden that perspective through education, experience, and a degree of flexibility.  However, there is one more element of utmost importance, especially since we humans deal with other humans, which is: we should try to understand why someone thinks the way they do.  We need to acknowledge that others also have limitations and we should be compassionate, not necessarily about their views (because they actually be wrong), but about how they derived such views.  If we are to attempt to be understood by others we have to understand their degree of limited perspective, and adjust our means of communication properly.  It can be the case that others have a more narrow limited perspective, or maybe the reality is that we are the ones with the narrower limitations.  Either way, we are all in this game of life and there is plenty to learn from one another.

Broaden your limited perspective!
The cube above shows the inner part, which is quite different than simply showing the outer part.  I'm sure you could think of other elements that can go into a cube.

Published: Jan 3, 2014

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Hi. My name is Jesse, and I'm a technology enthusiast. I play with technology and share what I find on this blog. If you have any questions then please use the contact form below. I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


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