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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 26 2013: Is knowledge a curse? As Uncle Ben once said: "With great power comes great responsibility." Knowledge gives us responsibilities. You know fast food is toxic for you, what are you going to do about it? Gold mines are intoxicating rivers, what is your course of action? Some might consider it a curse, because they do not know what to do with that knowledge. We are cursed with the knowledge of not doing anything. But that is, of course, regarding knowledge that most would prefer to pass unseen.

    Now, regarding what the article is talking about, I have to quote Einstein here: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough." When I encounter people that don't know as much as I do on a subject, I see it as an opportunity. I love explaining new things to people. Yet, I believe teaching is a difficult career because year after year you have to explain the same subject; it is as if your classroom, regardless of five years in math, don't understand that one subject. I'd get tired as well. But in ordinary day to day conversation? I try to meet them where they're at and start from there.
    • W T 100+

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      Oct 26 2013: Thank you for your thoughts Chantal.
      If I had a nickel........

      Sometimes I think the "E" in TED could very well stand for Einstein. LOL
      Your view of knowledge in is harmony with what a lot of contributors have stated.

      As an educator, I too become bored with teaching the same material year after year....I have gotten around it by changing grade levels, and changing schools, and moving to different places to teach.

      Growing in knowledge, at the same time you impart knowledge to others is a good thing.

      Have you seen the Nan Hauser story. She is a marine biologist. I think you will find her use of knowledge to be quite interesting. I think you will enjoy watching the documentary Lejan linked.....here it is. Enjoy!!

      • Oct 27 2013: I like what you have said when quoting Einstein " If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". I on certain subjects know it well enough to explain. While me the way i ask questions and explain it, i tend to put in in ways people don't understand it even though i put it in the most simply way i can. i try not to ask questions because when i do it boggles the teachers how i ask questions. sometimes when i ask things the way other students may ask things, i feel as though i'm asking it wrong and when i ask it my way nobody understands. I try to express myself and show people through doing things rather then explaining it in words. It's better that way for them, but harder for me. Is it better to teach a person visually or through another way? Help me please.
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          Oct 27 2013: Hi Cinthia. :) I actually know how you feel. I'd often ask questions that were quite unusual during class; what I realized is that I wasn't searching for explanations per se, but for an expansion on that knowledge. I realize you said you try to express your way by doing things because it is easier for THEM, but not for you. It is hard for people to understand you if you have a hard time understanding yourself. If you don't feel comfortable by doing things, then simply go by word, comparison or representation. When people don't understand me I try to use metaphors, analogies or simplify my question and then follow it up with more questions until I get to the level I want.
        • W T 100+

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          Oct 28 2013: Hello Cinthia, thank you for your thoughts on this subject.

          May I add some further thoughts?

          Some people learn in a good way when you show visual help.......some learn just when you talk to them......others need to see you doing what you are trying to show them.

          I think it depends what you are trying to show and teach.

          It sounds like you have a gift for teaching others. As you get older and attain more knowledge of how we humans learn, perhaps you will no longer have trouble being able to impart your knowledge to others.

          I hope I have helped you a little.
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        Oct 27 2013: @Mary M: Thank you for the link, Mary. I didn't even know another species of whales existed! I liked how Nan approached the issue midrange sonars with the NAVY. She used reason over passion, something we sometimes tend to oversee.

        By the way, I also agree that one of the best ways of learning is through sharing knowledge.
        • W T 100+

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          Oct 28 2013: That was a nice video wasn't it? I'm glad you enjoyed it.
          She seems like a well balanced person with a natural ability to make others comfortable around her.

          I have a quote for you regarding the sharing of knowledge.....

          "If you have a dollar, and I have a dollar.
          And I give you my dollar, and you give me yours,
          we will still each have only a dollar.

          But, if I have an idea that works,
          and you have an idea that works,
          and I share my idea with you,
          and you share your idea with me.
          Then, we will each have two ideas that work"

          Life is beautiful when we spend it sharing ideas that work with others.
          And we all have ideas that work, this knowledge is worth sharing......freely.......for the betterment of mankind. That is why having an open mind to other's ideas is so important.

          Thank you Chantal for contributing to this conversation. :)
          I'm Mary, nice to meet you!!

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