Dispersing knowledge LO11819

John Paul Fullerton (jpf@myriad.net)
Sat, 11 Jan 1997 16:50:24 -0600

Replying to LO11755 --

Denis, Linda, and Scott added comments about "dispersing knowledge"

Dennis said
> When I measure my sense of self worth by conditional regard (eg how
> much money, control. power I have compared to others.), I find that I
> get depressed because my life seems like a failure.

I would like to add that my original tears about the topic may have been
prompted due to personal uncertainties, being sick with a chest cold, and
having taken a choline supplement for the first time earlier that day.

> I think that this is one of life's struggles. Was this what was meant
> when it was said: to be in the world but not of it.

The apostle Paul said that.

> My only point of disagreement is that I do not believe that there is a
> power greater than ourselves.

For myself, I would not see much reason to go beyond where I am now
(sharing or increasing knowledge) if there were not a hope for something
better, something that exceeds the boundaries of my own power.

> I think that it is within us.

We have need that that power be within us. It's certainly not going to
help us "somewhere else" :)

I noticed in one of the translations of the "Tao Te Ching" that there
was a comment like

See both the power of invention
And the blackness within

Yuck! (I don't know that this is an admission on the original author's
part of the presence of an unacceptable mind within himself or whether
it's an indication added in translation; however, even as one believing
that I have received help in my life overcoming my own mind, there is a
mind that puts pressure on Us and pushes toward what we don't really want
to happen. The apostle Paul said, "what I will to do, I don't do; and what
I will not to do, that is the very thing that I do". So whether the
admission is in the "Tao Te Ching" or not, others have seen it, possibly
every one of us.)

Yesterday evening the words of a song came to mind

She works hard for the money
So hard for the money
She works hard for the money
So you better treat her right

Just remembering it, it touched me, and I thought, "wow, that could be
sufficient to change someone's way of life." Then I thought, it's possible
that no one's outlook or behavior has EVER been changed by that song -
even though it is possible that the words and the expression have enough
to them to define and recommend change.

Maybe words alone - however bright - do not suffice; maybe we need
something that could be received substantially as a new mind within one's
own person, "let these words be my knowledge here - instead of me
answering, let these words answer". That points to knowledge (and the
power of that knowledge) as being outside of Us.

Anyway, these comments just CORRESPOND with the idea "I do not believe
that there is a power greater than ourselves." My life is not based on
reasoning like I've presented here (these comments may be books on my

Two further comments about dispersing knowledge -

It is possible that getting a decent understanding of a topic requires
expert knowledge (and some guidance in using the knowledge) that people in
general do not have time for in every field. And my real comment - and
actual outlook - it's also possible that unless we have a significant
number of like-thinking people who have established an outlook as
successful and effective, that others will not heed the recommendations of
individuals. (The phrase is "learning ORGANIZATIONS", not "an individual
that likes learning" :) My own work on my WWW site has seemed inexplicable
to me (incompletely explainable, though I've tried to explain it) apart
from this new idea (for me) of "sharing what I know - because I should".
The original idea from the movie was "If You knew such-and-such, why
didn't You say it then?"

Another comment - from whatever direction I approach the explanation of
life called evolution (referenced in Scott's comment and part of my own
unspoken musing), the process seems insufficient for explaining order,
complex organization, and life. However, not being a scientist,
particularly a biologist, what vantage point do I have, not even knowing
the language of conversation? Yet there must be people who could say,
"look, here's the list of assumptions and glossed-over leaps". There's
also the expert sense of "the environment of the topic" that the
unexperienced particularly seem not to have. Established (and
ever-increasing) science does not seem to be doing it - though there must
be numerous scientists who see the same thing that I am saying. (I've seen
lists of these very people (possibly in "The Intellectuals speak out about
God: a handbook for the Christian student in a secular society" and
"Cosmos, bios, theos: scientists reflect on science, God, and the origins
of the universe, life, and homo sapiens"); however, one does not tend to
ubiquitously find reference to their thought!) So shared knowledge outside
one's own field should be welcomed and very convenient! Of course there is
also the limitation that we don't have time to listen to full explanations
of everything.

As a "what dare scientists to say, for instance", Robert Haas in "Eat
Smart, Think Smart" writes that a number of doctors and medical scientists
take vitamin supplements that go beyond the recommended daily allowance;
yet they don't publicly advocate doing so, because of imagined ostracism.
Yet Nobel prize winners advocated the same thing! (Linus Pauling, my
addition, was one.) I'm not saying that others SHOULD take vitamin
supplements, here.

Have a nice day
John Paul Fullerton


John Paul Fullerton <jpf@myriad.net>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>