Early twentieth-century poet Carl Sandburg poses the knowledge landscape as circles in the sand that help explain Western knowledge’s conundrum.
“The white man drew a circle in the sand,” Sandburg begins immediately, “and told the red man ‘This is what the Indian knows.'”
Continuing, Sandburg describes the white man drawing a big circle around the smaller one: “This is what the white man knows.”
Then, as though responding to international development and Western knowledge experts, Sandburg shows the Indian sweeping an immense circle around both rings in the sand. “This is where the white and the red man know nothing” (Sandburg 1971, 30).
Often it never seems to dawn on experts that there are limits to their knowledge.