14 June 2005

Knowledge to Power

"Knowledge is Power." True, but not accurate. Let Us explore this.

Knowledge in and of itself is not power. The application of knowledge is where power emerges. Therefore, having knowledge is a prerequisite of power, but knowing how to apply that knowledge is also required.

Applying knowledge is a skill that can be learned, for it is far from instinctual. Applying knowledge correctly can only be achieved if the person:

A) Understands the current situation through proper evaluation of the major (vital) factors involved
B) Has an idea of what can be done in the situation to alleviate, correct or otherwise improve it in a beneficial way
C) Has the knowledge (facts, procedures, strategies, tactics, skills, etc.) of how to make changes to achieve benefits
D) And has the ability to convey that knowledge and its potential benefits to the person or persons authorized to allow or who must be involved in making the needed changes.

Note that the definition does not specify to whom the benefits apply. That allows for knowledge being used for personal gain, the greater good, criminal intent or social revolution, an accurate portrayal of reality.

Therefore, Knowledge is Power IF:

* One has pertinent information in a personal context (knowing what a bomb is doesn't mean one knows how to build or defuse one safely.)

* One can imagine or visualize use of one's knowledge within the confines of the situation at hand.

* One can convince others that one's knowledge is worth using.

Seems there's an educational triad in that list:

1) Information must be taught so it becomes enmeshed in a personal context, i.e., direct experience, experimentation, trial-and-error, and not mere memorization.

2) Cause-and-effect, situational analysis, contextual framing and creativity are needed to develop a person's "knowledge toolbox" to a greater degree than just "read the book and answer the test."

3) Communication skills--from conversation to debate--must be strengthened in every language a student encounters in school.

Knowledge is Power. Puerto Rico has long shortchanged acquiring Knowledge, so why are We surprised that We lack Power?

NOTE: SNAP Platform has risen to #20 in the SourceForge rankings; 20th out of over 101,000 open source projects available for sharing. That isn't luck, folks.

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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