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Is Knowledge a Curse?

"In an article titled “The Curse of Knowledge”, it’s noted that as a person learns more about a subject, it becomes increasingly more difficult to discuss that subject with someone who doesn’t posses that knowledge. It simply becomes harder and harder to empathise with them.

This means that the more educated and passionate you are about a subject, the harder you will find it to discuss or teach it to others.

This effect is one of the cited possibilities for why teaching is so difficult a career, since it means that eventually teachers will become more and more disillusioned with the endless wave of perceived stupidity they’re forced to endure."

All of the above is from the article I read online, not my words.
What do you think? Is knowledge a curse?


Closing Statement from W T

Knowledge........information obtained from experience or education.

A lot has been said in this debate/conversation about knowledge.

One may conclude that knowledge, in and of itself, is not a curse. Knowledge is essential in order to function in society, and in order to help others.

Knowledge though, is just the beginning.......there are other things worth seeking beyond knowledge...........

Among those other things worth seeking are............ understanding.......... discernment............and perhaps, if we are fortunate enough, we might obtain...........wisdom.

How we handle the knowledge we have is strictly up to us.

The world is filled with passionate individuals who hold a wealth of knowledge, and who also possess understanding of that knowledge. Wisely they seek to share their knowledge with others, whenever, and wherever they can.

The example of Nan Hauser which is discussed in this conversation is a fine example for all of us. There are many other examples worldwide.

May we all continue to see knowledge as a blessing and use it wisely to better ourselves and others.

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    Oct 16 2013: Knowledge is not a curse Mary M. :)

    "Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven." ~William Shakespeare

    In my opinion, knowledge is nothing to do with others. It transforms the insight of the knower. Knowledge is not the actual problem which should be consider as a curse Mary M. The actual problem is in sharing it or giving it to others, because everyone get same information differently, limited to their wit and understanding.

    When Jonathan Drori talks about 'gaps between trained knowledge and conceptual, connected understanding', he is actually pointing out the distinct understanding of every individuals, due to their confined intelligence of understanding.

    Knowledge is always refreshing and new, if there is curiosity and perplexity in the learner. For Learner the knowledge is not limited in a single dimension. There is a vast ground of thinking. Yes but Knowledge becomes stale once it is known. If knower (Teacher) looses his/her curiosity and becomes confident of knowing all, his/her mind contracted to that limited knowledge. :)
    • W T 100+

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      Oct 16 2013: Manish, thank you so very much for your insightful thoughts.

      I most definitely agree with you when you state that the "actual problem is in sharing it or giving it to others, because everyone get same information differently, limited to their wit and understanding."

      This is probable where the knowledge is a curse.....because if the person who is holding in depth insight into a subject matter is unable to share that with others, than the insight dies with that person......they do not get to pass it forward.....

      As an educator I am very well aware of the 'distinct understanding of every individual'......our metacognitive skills, and our very learning style makes each of us unique.

      In the primary grades there is quite a bit of patience for these differences. Sadly, in higher education it might not be so.....at least that has been my experience.

      "Knowledge becomes stale once it is known"...........I really like these words. I had never thought of knowledge in that way before. I think that is why many of us here on TED are continually involved in learning new things, and discussing topics from all sorts of points of view.

      Do you suppose that there are other fields of study, aside from education, where this attitude towards treating others beneath them is prevalent? Can you think of any particular example?

      Here in our country Manish, people say "Ignorance is bliss". However, I tend to agree with Shakespeare's words.

      Thank you again for your thoughtful reply.
      I look forward to reading any additional thoughts you wish to share with us.
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        Oct 17 2013: Hi again Mary :)

        No, Its not true that the person holding 'depth insight' into a subject, is unable to share that with others. They do, they share knowledge but its impossible to macintosh the 'insight' with words.... All our languages are just improvised (makeshift). No language is perfect. We can not even express a very small feeling in words to make it understand by others. There is not equally perfect measuring words for any feeling. Suppose you say - 'I love you so much..' to someone and in reply that someone asks - 'How much?' you will found yourself in problem. you may start comparing your 'so much' to the things already known to you. You may say - 'As much as many stars are there in the sky' ...But do you think your information has been delivered correctly and exactly?

        Okey, let us take one more example to understand the problem (curse). suppose i do not know anything about butter. even the name butter is very unknown to me. I do not know how it looks, how it tastes, Nothing !! Now Mary, use your words to deliver this information to me so that after knowing only, I can experience all about 'Butter' as equally as you. can you? Even this much of information can not be delivered to other.

        When a new knowledge arrives, we start comparing it (to know it) with the other 'known things' or our past experiences. There isn't no other way to know. The only way is to experience. Glance over following quotes-
        1) No man can reveal to you nothing but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.~Khalil Gibran
        2) To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.~ Socrates

        "Ignorance is bliss" has been said by Thomas Gray in a poem and it goes like this -"A little learning is a dang'rous thing;Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain," Its obvious Mary, Thomas want us to either gain full knowledge or be ignorant. Ignorance is better then incomplete knowledge. :)
        • W T 100+

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          Oct 17 2013: Hi Manish,

          The points you bring out are very interesting. So you are saying that language limitation is also linked to this issue of not being able to communicate your knowledge?

          Your example of the butter is really wonderful. Yes, I see your point.

          But it is one thing to lack the language, and a completely different thing to have the knowledge, the language, but lack the patience. Don't you think so?

          As to ignorance being better than incomplete knowledge, is this your personal view? Or is it part of your explanation of Gray's quote?

          Your quotes by Gibran and Socrates are very much appreciated.
          Thank you so much.

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