Deep Knowledge v. Knowing A Lot About …
To know something means … what?
To know a lot about something, say a particular thing – like, “I know a lot about movies.” Does this mean you have deep knowledge of that thing?
The http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/knowledge?s=t defines knowledge as:
acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition:
Now, of course I first went to my favorite authority on everything Wikipedia, which said, “Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning.” A definition I prefer.
I also went to the Oxford Dictionary of English, but the ODE refused to let me have access to a search without signing up and logging in. I am soooo tired of having my name and email tagged into a million web sites. I wonder when these guys who force you to set up accounts for any kind of service, at all, are going to realize that almost everyone who does this, uses a junk email address. An email account that you never ever check, because it’s all just spam and crap. So screw the ODE.
With all the information and data that is available today on the Internet, who is to say what, or which, of any of it is totally factual – or even mostly accurate?
With a simple search line, you can get thousands of volunteer answers to anything. If you bother to check the sources of each source it’s like watching your curiosity spiral down a toilet of frustration.
I believe the only real thing left is to use your own personal sense of reason and logic. Plus with all the data that’s available at the touch of a qwerty keyboard, the whole concept becomes like is often said about statistics, “You can prove anything with statistics.” (I have no idea who said that first, but it wasn’t me.) I think today you could say the same thing about research, or even knowledge for that matter.
Under the right circumstance, in the right conditions, you could prove “pigs can fly”.
Look for the connections. A pig is a mammal. A bat is a mammal. Somewhere in the evolutionary circle, they had a common ancestor. Etc.. I am surprised it hasn’t shown up yet, but somebody is going to strap a hang glider on a pig and you’ll see the video on YouTube. It won’t be an American though, because if anybody did that in this country, the Animal Rights people would just simply shit their pants.
You can shoot your neighbor in the face if he gets in your way on the sidewalk, but you had better not kick a dog!!!
End of side note:
I am going to have to write an addendum to this blog, because I am over-running my self-established length quota, but for the nonce; “What is deep knowledge v. knowing a lot about… something.”
I have a deep knowledge about making pottery, because I was a professional potter for nearly twenty years. (visit http://dalepeterson.us and you’ll see) But Mostly I just know a lot about painting because other than doing hundreds of paintings, I never sold more than a dozen or so, and never deeply studied the topic.
I see this as a cultural issue (problem) today with the prevalence of authority available through on-line research, because there is a massive preponderance of information that is not composed through deep knowledge. Simply knowing a lot about … seems to be enough.
Art Shows juried by a bunch of wealthy housewives, who have good taste and know a lot about Art? Singing and dancing judges who obviously have never sung or danced, but are really just celebrities; i.e. they have national face recognition.
TV shows hosts with questionable degrees, giving out advice – because they assume they know a lot about … ?
Scientists (?), wilderness survivalists, cooks, chefs – the list is nearly endless.
Politicians arguing about economics when, if they have a college degree, it is in Divinity (?) and they have never owned or run a business ??? But they convince people that they sure know a lot about it!