Stay stupid, my friend

“All I know if that I know nothing.”

Decrapification owes everything to Socrates.

Thanks to Socrates, this statement is the basis for all of Western philosophy and requires that we admit our ignorance to achieve true wisdom. The Socratic Paradox suggests that if you know nothing, then it is impossible to know that you know nothing.

A much less paradoxical interpretation requires a bit of context. In the Apology of Socrates, someone asks the Oracle at Delphi if there was any person wiser than Socrates to which the Oracle answers “no.” To confirm or discredit the Oracle’s answer, Socrates interviews a number of people with a reputation for wisdom. His conclusion: “I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know.”

The “Socratic-method” of teaching is based on the idea that the teacher knows nothing and knowledge is found and revealed by the students.  Tabula rasa is the idea that people are born empty, like a blank slate, without mental context and therefore all knowledge comes from experience.

John Locke took tabula rasa a step further in his  Essay Concerning Human Understanding. In Locke’s essary, tabula rasa meant that individuals were born as a blank slate and individuals are free to define themselves through experience.

Decrapification starts with intelligent ignorance – a tabula rasa – or a blank slate.