Re: Goals

Steve Tucker (
Fri, 14 May 1999 22:17:01 -0500

Hello Jon,
I agree that knowledge is important. Yet it seems there is another element necessary; which is the ability to utilize knowledge rationally. How many people have the knowledge that smoking (or overeating, or not exercising, or drinking excessively, or over-use of various other drugs) will decrease the quality and length of their lives, yet continue to do so? I think that for a large number of problems causing human misery, knowledge of a cure already exists but is not put into practice. In many areas one can identify short-term incentives for people to ignore knowledge that would help them in the long run, but in others I am mystified. In the health examples, it is very depressing to think that most people do not possess whatever it is that would enable them to resist the momentary pleasure of a cigarette (or whatever) in light of the knowledge they surely possess of its longer-term consequences.

If more people were more willing to accept even unpleasant truths as reality, and then behave as though those truths were really real, many of humanity's problems would evaporate almost without trace. Unfortunately, I see no signs of imminent rampant rationality.

- Steve

jonwill wrote:

> True. Therefore, humanity should devote some more resources toward finding the
> answers.
> With the right knowledge all illness can be cured. With the right knowledge
> pollution can be eliminated. With the right knowledge all tangible and
> intangible human needs and desires can be fulfilled. With the right knowledge,
> any problem can be solved, and any desired result can be achieved. With the
> right knowledge everyone can have a high quality of life, a heaven on earth, a
> Utopia. Therefore, knowledge is the key to a better world. If humanity
> recognized this reality, and devoted more resources toward knowledge, we could
> accelerate the pace at which we reach a better world.
> The three basic ways of interacting with knowledge, are: 1) dissemination from
> accessing stored information, through teaching, or from other methods of
> communication; 2) use through actions based on awareness of knowledge; and 3)
> acquisition of new knowledge from research, through experience, or from other
> avenues of discovery. Humanity has achieved proficient methods for dissemination
> of information and simply needs to better utilize the same in order to
> facilitate the use of knowledge. Yet, less than 2% of global productivity is
> devoted toward finding new knowledge (research and development). Clearly
> Humanity could and should be investing more in its future.
> Cheers,
> Jon