“Levels of knowledge 2” by Zolley

“I wrote a post about the levels of knowledge in which I described a couple of imaginary scenarios of what people can see at various levels of knowledge or development. Since writing that post I read a book which made it much clearer how one can think about changing levels of knowledge and how a change from imcompetence in a subject can gradually turn into competence.

According to the model found in the book, there are four stages of change: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence and unconscious competence. I’ve written a couple of sentences about each of these stages below.

The initial stage is the unconscious incompetence. In other words, you don’t do something right but you don’t know it. In terms of aikido training, you might think that your ikkyo is very good whereas the truth is that ikkyo can be done much better, it’s more complicated than what you think about it right now. That is why aikido is complicated. According to a quote, this is the stage which corresponds to “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not” of a Chinese proverb. Or, to relate to some biblical themes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. You don’t know that you don’t know so you are naturally happy about the thing you don’t know much about.”

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