Knowledge is power.
They say that there is no knowledge that is not power and I’ve debated both sides of that issue.
As in all truly intelligent debates, the first building block is determined by definitions.
How do you define knowledge? Any information that can be gained.
How do you define power? The ability to act or produce an affect; the ability for one person through various means to reach a desired or specific outcome.
Then, ultimately, I would argue (from a more nebulous place) that the very idea that there is no knowledge that is not power becomes both so subjective and so context-based that to resoundingly and unequivocally deny the statement is foolish.
At present, it benefits me nothing to know that bananas share 60% of the DNA structure as humans. Other than as a potential joke or “interesting tidbit”; it benefits me nothing to say that any human on earth right now is 60% banana. So does that mean that such knowledge isn’t power? I’d argue that such a blanket statement is too early in time and (again, arguably) would be too early in time until the death of the individual. Because there is no way to preemptively state that any knowledge could not eventually be used by someone to “act or produce an affect” or to impact “the ability for one person through various means to reach a desired or specific outcome.” Even in the example used, though one could argue this is a bit forced, the Banana DNA knowledge is being used in a discussion of knowledge and power; and is therefore (then) knowledge being used in MY attempt to “act or produce an affect” or “to reach a desired or specific outcome.”
Using this argument as a starting point, then, we beg a deeper question.
If we accept that knowledge is power. And if we accept that, on some level, there is no knowledge that is not power. Then how does one approach the situation where gaining knowledge may create an unhappy or unpleasant experience? Is that, like Pandora’s Box, power that should not be gained? Knowledge that should not be learned? At what point does curiosity potentially become self-destruction?
I am curious to a fault. I wish to constantly accrue knowledge and experience. It is very difficult for me to know where to find knowledge and NOT go after it. This is… really… the Riddler side of my equation. There is knowledge that I don’t have, I must acquire it!
This plays into my personal life. During the night, a feeling blossomed that turned into a thought, the thought triggered a vast sea of insecurities, and a question formed. Along with that question, I knew immediately who would have the answer. So now I have a question (a quest for knowledge) and an individual to ask (a source of knowledge). But considering the question is borne of insecurities? It may not be a question I am pleased to have answered.