The compendium of ignorance

Gill Eapen
2 min readSep 10

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Humans have been riding high for a few hundred thousand years, albeit surviving a few bottlenecks, one of them reducing them to a few thousand samples. They invented many things, discovered others and overall demonstrated their intelligence and competence. Let’s revisit this grand and likely incorrect idea about humans in the present.

In Life Sciences, they have discovered ways to surgically remove problems and pump chemicals into humans to alleviate symptoms. Most of these “pharmaceutical products,” never cured anything let alone improve quality of life. Surgical removal of undesirable things, such as cancer, may tactically improve the situation but controlled experiments (which cannot be done for ethical reasons) may show ambiguous effects on quality of life. After hundred thousand years, we show little advancement on quality adjusted life span and recent data shows it is declining precipitously.

In Physical Sciences, theories have been advanced and in two instances it does look like there have been ideas that stood out. In the 17th century, mechanical aspects of motion were formulated and a couple of centuries later, another provided conceptual leaps into the unknown. However, theories that cannot explain everything are not good enough, especially if competing theories diverge and observations using “modern instruments,” keep throwing of inexplicable data. Fooling around with Math may not be sufficiently robust to advance this field, that appears to be stuck.

In Social Sciences, where replication is not typically demanded or even doable, many theories have been advanced. Most appear to be regime specific in limited space-time coordinates. To make matters worse, the users of such ideas are “policy makers,” typically politicians, who are dregs of society. Most of these impractical ideas do nothing to improve aggregate utility as can be seen in the data. Of the 8 Billion that sprawl the blue planet, over half of them live with less than $5/day, a fact that the rest can’t even internalize or understand.

As the mighty humans, proud of what they have accomplished and stand in awe of what to come, look to the heavens, some seeking God and others ET, it is instructive to understand that they have done absolutely nothing, yet.

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Gill Eapen

Gill Eapen is the founder and CEO of Decision Options ®, Mr. Eapen has over 30 years of experience in strategy, finance, engineering, and general management