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Levels of understanding

When confronted with a complex environment, which most of us are, it can help to organize your perceptions by levels of understanding.

Level 0.
You are unaware that communication can take place or that there is any information to be gained.
Example: you do not know that a clock tells time so looking at a clock tells you nothing about the time.

Level 1.
You are aware that communication is happening but do not know its content.
Example: you know a clock tells time but do not know how to read it.

Level 2.
You understand the communication and assume it to be true.
Example: the clock says 4:00 pm so you assume that it is 4:00 pm.

Level 3.
You understand the communication but know only that it is false, you have not gained any information from it.
Example: the clock says 4:00 pm but it is night so you know the clock is wrong.

Level 4.
You understand that the communication is false but use it to determine the truth; you gain true information from false.
Example: the clock says 4:00 pm and you know there was a four hour power interruption so you learn the correct time is 8:00 pm.

Consider this statement by a political candidate:
"This program will help the poor."

Level 2 : This program will help the poor.
Level 3 : These programs never help the poor; he is lying.
Level 4 : He is seeking support from people who want to help the poor.