A mental model (i. e. a way to think) of knowledge that represents (1) topics as dots and (2) associations as connections between the dots.



In constructive discussions and arguments probably the only way to convince the other side of something is to provide them with a region of your knowledge graph until it bridges with theirs.

  • If that region is bigger than you can easily convey, then it’s too early for that discussion. You can provide an external source so that others can still acquire the necessary pieces without your involvement, depending on how interested the other parties are.


A form of propaganda I have often seen involves deliberately building a region of knowledge graph disconnected from the target audience’s own experiences. They can still follow associations on that graph in their head and sometimes that’s enough to trick them into thinking that graph is their own knowledge that’s worthy of basing decisions on.

On its own this technique isn’t very reliable for malicious purposes, as usable knowledge has a high likelihood of accidentally bridging to a person’s own experiences and leading them to discover a contradiction, rendering propaganda’s message questionable. One occurrence of this usually isn’t enough and other factors can be used to compensate.

One of them is a subtle suggestion that this graph is very far from their own and the relevant regions of it only exist in the heads of certain “experts”. Which can be true, but can also be a message “do not waste time expanding knowledge in that direction, you’ll need years to get anywhere useful”. Depending on how convincing the message is, it can even diminish some of the person’s own relevant experiences.


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