Ideas from the book "Knowledge and Decision"

Do you think we have more things to learn nowadays than in the past?

Surely any single person today would know more than ..say -- a caveman from 300 years ago, right?

I used to think like that. I was wrong.

It depends on the kind of knowledge you know and also the kind of "society" you're in.

Let's assume that you are a mathematician.Your normal Geek.

You know a lot about math, and a little in physics and all those related disciplines. But outside that area of knowledge, you only know like any average person knows.

I would say that you knowledges are quite "specific."


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On the other hand, if you are a caveman, you have to know about survival stuff. Which kind of mushrooms are poisonous, where to find a shelter, how to make a spearhead, how to use herbs to cure yourself, and so on...

Infact, there're a LOT of stuffs you have to remember if you would like to be a survivor.

The caveman knowledge is kind of like the jack of all trades' , you know almost everything, but not deeply. It's "general."


This is also the reason our society now is much more advanced than our cavemans friend.

Because cavemans live seperately, Each caveman must have approximately the same kind of
knowledges to survive. They can't depend on other cavemans to get food, to provide shelter, or to heal their wounds. They have to do ALL of that themselves.

As a consequence, their society have a lot of "duplicate" knowledges.


We, on the other hand, tend to specialize. And that makes a huge difference.
We can rely on others
to get food (arrived ready to eat at the restaurant or supermarket),
to provide shelter (we hire others to build our home),
or to heal our wounds. (doctor!)

This leaves us to have knowledges in other areas which the others will rely on. No duplicates.

We have spread the knowledges -- we have "economized" them.

2 comments:

    I love your writting, Mr. caveman.
    ^_^

    Your story is quite interesting. You're clever and smart. Did you form the title by yourself? What're your inspiration about that? Anyway, I think it's cool.