Everyone realizes that without the proper physical training (with or without collateral symbolic instruction), an athlete cannot competently compete. Everyone understands that without the proper education in appropriate symbolic subjects, a scientist cannot plot the desired trajectory of a spacecraft, but once past areas wherein are visible, tangible consequences of symbolic activities, then everything is up for grabs. Minds can believe they see anything they want to see in circumstances wherein all that is going on is symbols frolicking with other symbols.
“I know where Oz is.”
“Are you sure?”
“I am positive.”
You either know what you are doing, or you do not. In the world of ideas and symbols,
ordinary minds do not face up to the fact that not only do they not know what they are doing –but neither can they ever know, for in no ground-based sense are they actually doing anything.
In the realm of ideas, knowing-what-you-are-doing would seem of paramount importance; thus the importance placed on education. A man cannot speak authoritatively on history, art, politics, or religion without a thorough training-in and knowledge-of the subject. Ergo, the importance placed on academic credentials and their passionate defense by those holding them.
In the realm of symbols no one knows, or can know, what they are doing; hence the importance of having a physical piece of paper that says you do, and hence also, men’s snippiness when accused of not knowing.