Cumulative Knowledge

There are two different types of scholarship: being able to learn and being able to discover. While almost anyone can be taught to accomplish a task, having the mental power to discover something that no one has ever thought of before takes ingenuity and a willingness to think outside the box that few people posses. Though people now might appear more intelligent than people hundreds of years ago, it is only because they have the resources to a greater wealth of knowledge and facts. This cumulative knowledge is why in the science of cryptanalysis what was once a task to be accomplished only by the finest minds of the age is now completed by common people. This occurs not because humans have evolved to become more intelligent but because it is easier and takes less time for a person to be taught how to do cryptanalysis than to have to discover how to do it. Even people who have not directly been taught to do cryptanalysis have access to a wider breadth of knowledge and experience than their ancient counterparts. Even simple things like being taught to count and recognize patterns helps people now to be able to decrypt things faster than people hundreds of years ago that never had practice in that kind of knowledge. Though humans may have greater access to the cumulative knowledge that we have amassed, it still takes the same amount of effort as before to discover new, never before thought of ideas. This is why, as in ancient times, there are only a handful of true leaders in knowledge but many followers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>