The Illusion of Knowledge

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Daniel Boorstin

I went online to check the weather in our area – we are expecting snow flurries – and was bombarded with all sorts of information I didn’t really want to know. It was like information overload at it’s worst. I could not believe how much people wanted to tell me about something like the weather, knowing that most of the time whatever I am told is wrong. Wow! It was shocking.

I then read this quote and totally understood what the author meant. We have so much knowledge and information that we forget that ignorance is no longer our problem; our problem is too many people thinking they know it all, that they are knowledgeable on a topic when in reality they are only spouting opinions they have heard or stories they have been told. Too much knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. The illusion of knowledge, great phrasing.

Knowledge can quickly turn into information constipation. It’s the old too much of a good thing turned into a very bad thing. As if that is not bad enough we have to be discerning when people tell us things – is it the truth, their truth, or a story they are sharing – because none of it may be relevant at all to the situation, they just want to talk. Knowledge is power indeed, and it can be power that goes awry very quickly.

Our challenge is to be wise in the information we take in and give out. Is it real, is it relevant, and is it furthering the relationship or just making us feel better? Let’s work at making the information we share important enough that it moves things forward and doesn’t simply add to the noise levels. There is nothing worse than an educated noise maker simply adding to the illusion of knowledge.

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