The More We Know

The More We Know, The More We Know What We Don’t Know (EP.84)

In Podcast, Responsibility, Revolution, Socialism by Will Luden0 Comments

Summary

We have all heard the saying, “A Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” When that saying is used, it means that the person with the small amount of knowledge is assuming that they know all they need to know on the subject at hand, then they act accordingly. It is not that they don’t know everything, but that they think they do, that is the “dangerous thing.” Having some knowledge, and knowing the limits of that knowledge, is a plus. For example, knowing how to dress a wound is a good thing; thinking that you can do open heart surgery with that ability is dangerous.

For the next 10 minutes, we will unpack how having a little knowledge is taking a giant wrecking ball to our communities and our country.

Transcript

We have all heard the saying, “A Little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” When that saying is used, it means that the person with the small amount of knowledge is assuming that they know all they need to know on the subject at hand, then they act accordingly. It is not that they don’t know everything, but that they think they do, that is the “dangerous thing.” Having some knowledge, and knowing the limits of that knowledge, is a plus. For example, knowing how to dress a wound is a good thing; thinking that you can do open heart surgery with that ability is dangerous.

For the next 10 minutes, we’ll unpack how having a little knowledge is taking a giant wrecking ball to our communities and our country.

Let’s start with a fun, sweet story and video featuring a circus clown, Emmett Kelly, who performed in the early and mid 20th century. Kelly was a former successful trapeze artist turned clown. “Weary Willie” was Kelly’s invented, depression era-like hobo character who the delighted kids and amused the adults of his time. Kelly would be seen sweeping up the circus rings after the other performers. He tried but failed to sweep up the pool of light from the spotlight. His routine was revolutionary at the time: traditionally, clowns wore white face and performed slapstick stunts intended to make people laugh.

As the circle of light, the spotlight, that Kelly was “sweeping up” got smaller, the lit circumference in contact with the dark also got smaller. The smaller the area of light in his act, the smaller the circumference where the light touched the dark. Things happen the same way with what we know and what we realize that we don’t know. The light is what we know, and the light circumference where it touches the dark represents what know that we don’t know. As things like our knowledge and wisdom expand, the area of light expands. And so does the size of the circle contacting the dark, representing what we know that we don’t know. Simply put, the more that we know, the more that we know what we don’t know. And with a little knowledge, a smaller lit circle if you will, we have little understanding of what we don’t know. That’s the danger.

Today’s key points: 1. We all know what we know, and what we know that we don’t know. Vastly larger than both of those two together is the area of what we don’t know that we don’t know. And what we think we know that just ain’t so is part of what we don’t know that we don’t know. And 2. What we don’t know that we don’t know is where the danger lies.

Let’s take a look at an issue that you and I and the USA are facing today (that was fun), and how the little knowledge danger makes issues like this one all but unresolvable. Socialism is often in the news, with older people generally against it, and younger people far more often being for it. The little knowledge issue raises its ugly head here because there are three different flavors of socialism, and everyone is talking about the only one, pro or con, the only flavor they know to talk about. Classic Socialism calls for government ownership of business, making it quite the opposite of capitalism. This has never worked anywhere, including Venezuela and Cuba. Russia, China and Vietnam are examples of countries where that lesson has been learned at a terrible cost in terms of poverty and human misery, and those nations are now mixing in healthy doses of capitalism. If you take that Classic Socialism and prohibit the ownership of private property, you have Communism. Communism is quite the opposite of freedom. Bernie Sanders’ Democratic Socialism appears to model itself after the Scandinavian countries. But even a basic level of knowledge of the various Scandinavian economic models shows that they are all capitalist engines with high taxes, including on the middle class, and heavy wealth redistribution. In summary, these countries know they need the capitalist engine to make the money, and they use high taxes to redistribute that money. The leaders of those countries, when asked about socialism, respond quite clearly that they are not at all socialist; they are capitalist.

Quick economic lesson: Private ownership of business creates wealth; government ownership of business does not. Wealth must be created before any of it can be redistributed. I know, I know, this sounds so obvious that it is not worth mentioning. Sadly, very sadly, this would come as new news to all too many people, and all too many voters.

Action item: To avoid falling into the little knowledge trap, we must intentionally and frequently get our information, facts and opinions, from sources that we do not naturally gravitate towards. It is so seductively easy to hunker down into a “cone of sameness” (does anybody remember the “cone of silence”), with only like-minded friends, the same sources for memes, the same radio, Internet and TV stations and personalities, and the same newspapers, magazines and groups. When we do that, we are exactly like the blind men each of whom had grabbed a different part of an elephant, and each one of them was convinced they had identified what they had in their hands correctly, and that all of the others were completely wrong. BTW, blind or not, if they had talked to each other, and trusted each other’s observations, they all would have gotten it right. If we share only one type of memes, repeat the same type of cliches and sound bites from the same sources, and actually believe that those who think like we do have it right, and those who think differently are deplorables one hand, or libtards on the other, we will see only one part of the elephant, none of which are identified as even parts of an elephant, and never see what’s actually there. Instead of misidentifying pieces, we will be able to correctly identify the whole.

Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s reach far and wide as we look for facts and analyses on the key issues we face as individuals, as communities and as a nation. Let’s demand that our politicians and other leaders set aside their personal and party’s agendas and do the same. In fact, our politicians and leaders should take the lead in all of this. They should be models, not roadblocks. And take heart. Remember, Revolution 2.0™ is coming. Please stand by…

Links and References

Emmett Kelly
Socialism
We Are The Blind Men

Contact

As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind.  You can email me at will@resultswithreason.com, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.

Frequency

I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.

Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:

  1. Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
  2. Be Your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; when people truly need a hand up and not a hand out, be there. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.

Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act.  And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.

Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.

Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.

Will Luden
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Will Luden

As an author, speaker, public company board chair, family man, a man with many friends (and friends-to-be), citizen and a child of God, I am driven to contribute. One way to for me to contribute is to start thought-provoking discussions.My overall objective is to stimulate “Passionate, Relentless, Reasoning.” My specific goals include getting people to act (only) after Reasoning.
Will Luden
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