The noblest aspect of all the ideas the U.S.A. as a whole represents, or claims to represent, is one of political and social hybrid vigor. People adopt the best attributes of cultures from across the globe and conjoin them with those of others. Whether it is food or philosophy, people in the United States join ideas of differing cultures and fuse them together. People and philosophy might unite in commonality in the U.S.A. The following is such a fusion of independent yet correlating philosophy which can lead to a better understanding of mentality through exploration of their universality.
The number 4 is symbolic for completion. Through the number four the most complicated subjects can be broken down into the simplest presentation. There is an eternal, natural and social polarization of all situations great and small. Polarization occurs naturally with day and night. Polarization or, pairing of opposites, occurs socially with the politics of the right and left. This polarization of politics into the right and left is a global and perhaps timeless phenomenon. On the other hand, social polarizations are not necessarily naturally occurring, but normally amplified and utilized by politicians themselves.
The oldest symbols in the world present the concept of extreme duality. The yin and yang, which can be traced back to at least 1100 B.C., displays the eternal polarization of positive and negative. The yin and yang present polarization in two main parts, but there is a total of four distinct features in the circle. The two swirling positive and negative portions each contain a part of the other within.
The cross is a similarly ancient and influential archetype. It has been used by cultures distinct from and preceding Christianity. It is simply two crossing lines, but it conveys complex symbolism. When shed of other symbolism it is simply two perpendicular and intersecting lines. When two lines intersect four parts are made. When two polarized ideas intersect, four basic parts are made as well.
From Socrates to Donald Rumsfeld philosophers and politicians have posited there are four types of information. Socrates' proposed there are four types of information in accordance to a polarization. In the Analogy of the Divided Line, Socrates proposes that information is first polarized between the tangible and intangible and that this polarization leads to four types of information. It is proposed there is tangible information and reflections of the tangible, like one's reflection in water. Then there is intangible information, numbers for instance, and reflections of the intangible, like mathematical theories.
Former Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld made a relevant and somewhat poetic speech, unintentionally pointing to another polarization of information in the form of knowns and unknowns. "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don't know."
The fourth part of the polarization, Donald's omission, is unknown knowns. This type of information left unmentioned by Donald is ironically based on going unmentioned. It is information that some have and others are unaware of entirely. It is information that is acted on and held onto, normally held by politicians or equally oligarchical and institutionalized individuals, which the majority are ignorant of. Unknown knowns are secrets known by few among many. Donald and those of his ilk, would rather one not consider there is information falling into the unknown known category. In typical form, Donald left the unsaid type of information unsaid.
The number 4 looks like a cutter with a handle. And Four is Occam's Razor. Conceptualizing conditions with four assists in slicing away the superfluous and enables getting to the bottom of a situation, understanding. Occam 's razor is representative of the theory that entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity. Scientists and philosophers use the theory to better understand conditions, however Albert Einstein may have summed up the notion best "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler."