You can not appreciate what you do not understand

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2023-01-24 01:00:08

People often say, “I don’t know what people see in this,” thinking they are naive. But what if the answer is right there, in the first clause, “I don’t know”?

When you see a sports car or motorcycle and say it is entirely impractical, uncomfortable, expensive, dangerous, and loud. It’s a sign you don’t understand it. You don’t understand the challenges engineers faced when building such a powerful vehicle. You can’t appreciate the ingenuity of designers who achieved such a superb design. You can not empathise with the feelings it evokes in the driver. The driving experience is as hard to explain as describing sex to a virgin.

When you read a book that is widely agreed as a masterpiece, and you say it’s crap, then with high probability, you don’t understand it. You do not understand the spirit of the culture and the historical period in which the author lived. You have missed the author’s feelings, hopes, and ideas. There are straightforward books and complex books, this may be the complex one. It may require a lot of knowledge and openness to appreciate it metaphorically. But it is not crap.

When you travel to Egipt, stand at the bottom of pyramids, and say, “I don’t know why people are so amazed by this bunch of stones,” then you don’t understand the context in which these stones were assembled. Building one pyramid involved: two million stone blocks, one hundred thousand workers, twenty years of work, and five thousand years ago. It is marvellous where did they get these stones from; there is no stone pit in Cario. How did they transport them, organized the constructions, raised eighty tonnes of stone blocks at a high of 140m, and managed such a massive number of people without phones and walkie-talkies? Finally, why did they use that workforce to build a tomb, not towns, ships, and conquer lands?

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