Opinion and knowledge

15 October 2017, Oded Cohen and Jelena Fedurko-Cohen 

TOC is a knowledge based approach, not an opinion based one.

The difference between the knowledge and an opinion is that

  • the knowledge constitutes the established and tested sets of cause and effect connections that have hard proofs that appear in different sets of conditions, environments and realities so consistently and so many times that it excludes a possibility that effects appear there by chance,
  • while an opinion is an expression of a belief or conviction of an individual. That’s true that this individual may have evidence in their reality of the existence of whatever their opinion expresses. They often use this evidence as an argument to say that their opinion is CORRECT.

However, they overlook that this evidence is NOT the proof of the CORRECTNESS of their opinion, but the DEMONSTRATION of HOW THE OPINION ITSELF WAS FORMED.

When they make an opinion about an element of the area of knowledge that they do not know deeply and thoroughly, their opinion is quite often incorrect.

Every area of knowledge has clear rules not only about what entities ARE the elements of this knowledge, but also, and not less importantly, what entities ARE NOT. That is how we are able to distinguish between a correct element and a mistake.

That’s how we know that, for example, the spelling ‘doktor’ is NOT the English language spelling, and while fully accepted in some other languages, within the body of knowledge of the English language it will be considered a mistake, because the correct spelling is ‘doctor’.

The recent discussions in several TOC groups consistently reveal the pattern: some people mistake THEIR OPINION about some specific areas of TOC for knowledge, and quite often get unhappy when they are presented with the KNOWLEDGE from those who have this knowledge.

It is important to recognize that Ted Hutchin was presenting KNOWLEDGE, and NOT his OPINION, when he:

  • commented on a picture presenting some statements as UDEs by saying “The absence of something is never an Ude, only the presence of something negative, otherwise you are putting forward your preferred solution before any true analysis”,
  • or responded to another picture that claimed that it presents a CRT by saying “The CRT you have provided in not a CRT under any definition that I would recognize, too many errors”,
  • or responded to a suggestion to solve a difference of positions by a Cloud by saying “For there to be a cloud there must be a common A. If there is no common A, no matter how bland it might be, then there is no cloud and therefore no D – D’ conflict, simply conflict.”

Ted presented KNOWLEDGE, not his opinion.

What Ted wrote about an UDE, a CRT and a Cloud proceeded from the RULES within the TOC Thinking Processes that allow us to distinguish which entity IS a TOC tool or concept, and which is NOT.

The statements that initiated Ted’s responses, and the ones that stated disagreement with Ted AFTER he wrote his comments, are OPINIONS, and not knowledge.

Why is it important to know and recognize the difference between knowledge and opinion, and why do we care?

People object, correct and raise reservations when they know what negative outcome will/may be caused by what the other party is saying/doing.

When an expert objects, corrects and raises reservations – this is because they know WHY this or that element is NOT a TOC tool/concept that the other party claims it is. And they know WHAT NEGATIVE EFFECT will/may happen to the system if the system will be convinced otherwise. And they share this knowledge with the other party and the community – because they care.

When the other party disagrees with an expert’s objection, correction or reservation, it is also because of the known negative effect – for this person. Quite often in the exchange between an expert and the other party it becomes obvious that what the expert objects to, corrects or raises reservation about has been used by the third party for marketing purposes or sold as services, and the presented knowledge is perceived as threatening or challenging their current or future business or interests.

Published by Oded Cohen and Jelena Fedurko-Cohen, 15 October 2017 

1 reply
  1. Madan Gopal Agarwal
    Madan Gopal Agarwal says:

    Oded and Jelena – Had the opportunity to spend good time on the website. Encyclopaedia of TOC Knowledge – not only knowledge but clearly articulated details also. My compliments to both of you. Excellent interpretation of Knowledge and Opinion – TOC Way!


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