Can Knowledge Prevent Understanding?

“Machine Learning is definitely the thing of the century.”

Marios Tsatsos, PhD, 'sassy quantum scientist’.


The sass comes from disillusionment with academic institutions.

Even I’ve seen hints of its woeful political forces.

Marios felt this limited his ability to impact knowledge, which he craved.


“I love research, it’s by definition undiscovered. My passion is anything that can be known.”

Ironically, now he’s left academia he impacts knowledge directly – he literally maps knowledge with the ‘Web of Science’ at Clarivate.


“ML’s here to stay. It culminates so many things we’ve been researching for decades, combines so much information and scientific knowledge. We’ve created machines for centuries, now we can teach them in the same way that humans learn.”


I ask how he wraps his head around the quantum.

He shrugged like I’d asked the wrong question, then calmly spoke “with new discoveries the axioms change. You learn for centuries based on what you see, then something forces you to go back to the foundation.”


∴ New generations can understand new things because their foundations are built with recent axioms.


Oh Irony, old friend: existing knowledge can prevent new understanding.


Maybe we should only be learning how to learn?

Or maybe that baton is for the machines.

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