What does it mean to know someone?

Imagine walking by a blue house on a warm June day. There’s a woman working in her garden this wonderful, breezy afternoon, and this woman looks up at you to give you a hospitable smile. You don’t know this woman. Though you do know that she’s a woman and that she loves her garden so.

Let us suppose that in this very instance of interaction that we know each other entirely.

I am proposing that to interact with a stranger on this basic level entails complete knowledge of the other — that everything there is to know about such a person is known and that nothing else is necessary. I am proposing that if and when you communicate further with an individual do you only complicate their identities, degrading the amount in which you actually know a fellow human being.

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