The biggest myth I've encountered in my life is as follows: that the road from practical know-how to theoretical knowledge is reversible-in other words, that theoretical knowledge can lead to practical applications, just as practical application can lead to theoretical knowledge. After all, this is the reason we have schools, universities, professors, research centers, homework, exams, essays, dissertations, and the strange brand of individuals called 'economists.'It seems like our whole educational system should be based on disproving knowledge, as opposed to approving it. How do we ever evolve if knowledge becomes a theory?
Yet, the strange thing is that it is very hard to realize that knowledge cannot travel equally in both directions. It flows better from practice to theory-but to understand it you have nontheoretical knowledge. And people who have nontheoretical knowledge don't know these things.
Indeed, if knowledge flowed equally in both directions, then theory without experience should be equivalent to experience without theory-which is not the case.
Perhaps we need more hypotheses, that which is not known or accepted as fact. It is knowledge itself that seems to come in between practical evolutionary application.
But it is also a posturing, a lack of humility, that undermines knowledge. By this I mean, those with knowledge can become non-theoretical by simply adjusting their mindsets to the vast continuous possibilities of their own limited understanding.
Knowledge is itself limiting; it is forever evolving; we enter this world in a place of unknowing and leave in the same state, for we do know from where we have come or where we will go even though we have experienced life and shall experience death and see the same in others.
Knowledge in this regard still evades us. Others spoke of our birth and will speak of our death. This is humbling in itself and should teach us something about the not-knowing of knowledge. Openness is essential to knowledge for in it lies the essence of not-knowing, the forever disproving of theory.