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Allegory of the Sheltered Man

January 16, 2010

There was a man who had been sheltered all his life to such an extent that he new nothing of the world. Before this man was placed a large book, I believe it was The Histories by Herodotus. When the man looked at the thing before him he did not know what it was. As he could not read he only recognized the writing on the front as strange lines and squiggles. He did not even realize that this thing, the book, could be opened and inside were many more lines and squiggles that told a great story. But even if the man was taught to read he would still not understand the story because he knew nothing of Ancient Greeks or war or geography and so on.

The man’s ignorance was a great barrier, a wall he would never be able to scale. 

Now on top of this book was placed another book and then another until there was a mountain made up of millions upon millions of books.

Now if this man looked at the colossal mountain of complexity and told you he had the answer, that he understood, you might think he was a preacher or perhaps a scientist.

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