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Some musings on power and knowledge

  1. Dec 24, 2003 #1
    Fire. It consumes things, transforming them, jumping from place to place. It gets put out though, a fire never engulfs the entire universe, not even the whole planet.

    Power. It consumes things, transforming them, jumping form place to place. It gets put out though, a power never controls the entire universe, not even the whole planet.

    Light. It travels along, being absorbed and released, reflected and refracted. A single photon of light exists for eternity, touching every part of the universe. No matter how long it travels, however, it will never touch every atom, every electron, every other photon. It will never experience every possible combination of the above.

    Knowledge. It travels along, being absorbed and released, reflected and refracted. A single body of knowledge exists for eternity, touching every part of the universe. No matter how long it travels, however, it will never understand every idea, ever concept, every other body of knowledge. It will never experience every possible combination of them.

    You most likely see what I'm getting at. Power is like fire (consuming, eventually putting itself out or being put out), knowledge is like light (travelling, learning, experiencing an infinite amount of things).

    If a fire ever did consume everything, by the way, it would then extinguish itself immediately. A photon will never bump into every other possible thing in the universe (although in a finite universe that lasts for infinite time it IS concievable- that's why I said the analogy works best in an infinite universe), it will keep on gaining new experiences.

    Just some interesting musings, heh.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 24, 2003 #2
    So Power eventually "gets put out".
    And "Knowledge exists for eternity".

    We've all here this popular cliché
    Uh oh...
     
  4. Dec 24, 2003 #3
    Hehehe :P
     
  5. Dec 24, 2003 #4
    P.S. Knowledge is only useful to the extent that it "serves" wisdom, or else its flames will expire.
     
  6. Dec 24, 2003 #5
    Beat me too it

    You know, now you've got me thinking along some different lines here. How the tangible connects to the intangible. Power, fire,water, etc.. these things are are tangibles. Now with knowledge, it has "overunity" so to speak. In other words, it gives you exponentially more than you put into it. Makes me wonder what other intangibles have overunity. And what if that intangible unity could be harnessed somehow- something to do with brainpower.. I'll think some more about this..

    EDITED for SPELLING
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2003
  7. Dec 24, 2003 #6
    Maybe there's a connection between the overunity of the intangibles and the opposite of the tangibles. Maybe they're two equal sides of the same thing, and the connections are real.

    What if we're some sort of elementary particles, going about our physical things, but we live in a dream world where every physical action in the real world is represented as something here?
     
  8. Dec 25, 2003 #7
    The elementary particles and forces are tangible. Certainly the physical models that describe theses things are abstact but they are based on tangible processes. The relationships between the physical entities and processes represent abstractions.

    I think energy would be a good analogy to knowledge. Knowledge is pontential. The use of that knowledge is work. It takes work to put knowledge into action. The rate at which that knowledge is put into practice is power. If you have a higher capacity for power, you can put things into action at a faster rate. Knowledge and power doesn't necessarily go hand in hand.

    In physics, energey reperesents the ability to do work; make a change. Work is the conversion of energy from one form to another. Work and Energy and mathematically equivalent. The rate at which energy is transformed is power.

    I may have more power than someone, but if I lack knowledge, what use is power to me? Conversely, I may have lots of knowledge and lack the means to put it into action.
     
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