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brian Rupnow
01-27-2015, 08:29 PM
Imagine, if you can, a world where knowledge was passed genetically from father or mother to offspring. Every time a new baby is born, it starts out at zero knowledge base. We, as a human race, have learned more and more things over the time we've been on this planet. We have also gotten better and better at recording and preserving this knowledge, and teaching it to our children. But still--- I know more at this time than I have ever known in my life. I started out at zero knowledge base, and in 68 years I have learned so much about so many things that it just blows my mind. And in another few years it will all be lost when I make my grand exit. Now granted, at 68 I'm not about to set about fathering any new children, (at least I surely hope not), and granted, 30 to 40 years ago when I was fathering children, I only knew about one third of what I know now. Sometimes it just makes me crazy to think of all the stuff I know that newcomers will have to go about learning all over again. This is a weird thread, and it sort of goes hand in hand with the thread about how great a thing the internet is, and how much information is available from it. I just didn't want to go on this mad rant in the middle of the other fellows thread.---Brian

CalM
01-27-2015, 08:38 PM
If real knowledge could be passed down, don't you think our fathers and mothers would have told us all how to be happy!

Didn't happen did it. Everyone has thier own path to take.

The rest of this stuff is only distraction.

janvanruth
01-27-2015, 08:43 PM
If real knowledge could be passed down, don't you think our fathers and mothers would have told us all how to be happy!

Didn't happen did it. Everyone has thier own path to take.

The rest of this stuff is only distraction.

we all more or less know how to be happy, that doesnt mean we are
so knowledge has nothing to do with happiness

brian Rupnow
01-27-2015, 08:44 PM
Interestingly enough, my father and mother did tell/show me how to be happy. And I am happy----now. Had a lot of years in between though, where I wished I had listened to them a little closer!!!

dp
01-27-2015, 08:46 PM
If my parents knew ahead of time the kinds of things I'd be doing as a teen they'd have kept their legs crossed.

TGTool
01-27-2015, 09:15 PM
An interesting twist. There's some strands of Indian philosophy that address the principle gifts we're given by God. And in connection with the idea of reincarnation, one philosophical branch includes "forgetfulness" in the gifts we're given coming into life. IF reincarnation were true, would I want to come into this life with the knowledge of all the ways I've f**ed up in past lives or not? I'm just not sure.

CalM
01-27-2015, 09:16 PM
We all want our children to learn the lessons we learned, without taking the risks we took. ;-)

Doesn't work that way.

firbikrhd1
01-27-2015, 10:09 PM
How many times have I thought the same thing. My Dad is an incredible finish carpenter in addition to being what I would call a near genius at thinking out of the box. He's 86 now and still doing well and I have benefited from being around when he was working, however, I've often wished I could have spent years with him learning his trade. When the Lord finally takes him it will not only be a great loss to myself and my family but a great loss of knowledge. To carry it a bit further, dad's father was a mechanic, metal worker and weldor. He spent WW II repairing shot up aircraft sheetmetal and airframes on a sea plane tender in the Pacific, welding aluminum with oxy-acetylene and stainless with I don't know what. If I had only a tenth of his knowledge in those fields I would consider myself fortunate.

Regarding happiness, I don't think happiness can be taught. I believe it comes from within and is different for every individual.

becksmachine
01-27-2015, 10:54 PM
This is a weird thread, and it sort of goes hand in hand with the thread about how great a thing the internet is, and how much information is available from it. I just didn't want to go on this mad rant in the middle of the other fellows thread.---Brian

Ok, in the interest of keeping this thread weird. :)

Two trains of thought come to mind.

One, we ARE the very lucky beneficiaries of intelligence that is genetically passed from generation to generation. We have chosen to give this store of knowledge the name "instinct". It is what gets us through the first hours/weeks when we really don't know our ass from a hot rock, but we do know the difference between a dog bite and a warm breast.

Secondly, and please don't take this as an insult, I am just philosophizing here, how arrogant to think that either/any of us know what type of "knowledge" would be relevant to a different person in a different day in age.

Should we all still be starting fires with lightning because inventing new ways to dangerous? Do the Amish have it right that electricity is the work of the devil?

Again, not trying to denigrate anyone here, just using real world examples to illustrate a concept.

If anyone has read the series "Clan of the Cave Bear", they might recognize this "memories" concept as part of the plot. It is admittedly fiction, but it was a concept that really stretched my "willing suspension of disbelief"

Dave

fixerdave
01-27-2015, 11:13 PM
Ah well... I started rambling, on and on... I don't even have time to beat it into some coherent collection of points. Sorry,

...

Flipping around your starting point... what if you didn't die? Same result, in that you continue to acquire knowledge forever. Better actually, as there is a difference between wisdom and knowledge. The internet is preserving knowledge, but wisdom must be earned through experience. If death was eliminated, then both knowledge and wisdom wouldn't be lost.

Sounds good, until you think about it.

There are problems... stuff like separating the useful bits to remember while discarding the parts best forgotten. That, if you follow the logic, ends up at remembering the wisdom while forgetting the (often very painful) reasons for said wisdom. Then there's the problem of capacity. We are finite beings and our minds don't remember nearly as much as we seem to think they do, just snippets if this and that with imagination filling in the gaps. Then you have to factor in relevance. We actually do inherit quite a bit of knowledge genetically, but being predisposed to act like cavemen isn't entirely useful nowadays. It actually causes enough problems that a lot of what we teach our children amounts to "refrain from" rather than hows and whys. Even within a single current lifetime, much knowledge becomes obsolete. My father knew all kinds of tricks to get a steam locomotive up to operating pressure quickly, being his first job. I'm kind of glad I didn't inherit that. Most of what he knew about logging is now in the "thou shalt not do" regulations book. Society does learn from it's mistakes; best to keep that wisdom instead, and we do. Said regulations are the modern equivalent of cautionary tales.

We are already way past the point where mere humans could know even half the things they should to get through a typical day. More knowledge is created every day than a individual could learn in a lifetime of dedicated study. I grew up with computers... I used to know exactly how they process information, knowing how and where voltages shifted around to form logic patterns that executed code. These days, most of what a computer is doing might as well be magic. Sure, I have vague ideas, core principles, but there are huge chunks that are abstracted to... magic. No point beating around the bush. Might as well be magic.

Here's another way of looking at it... It used to be that knowledge was scarce and you had to search it out. You found mentors or went to school. With the internet, that's flipped on it's head. We are drowning in knowledge, more than we could ever process as individuals, even if we lived forever. As more knowledge gets created, we end up abstracting the base even further. Eventually, it will all be magic.

David...

Black Forest
01-27-2015, 11:46 PM
If learned knowledge was hereditary then our parents would have to "mate" very late in life wouldn't they?

tlfamm
01-28-2015, 08:01 AM
How much knowledge we might be able to pass on will very much depend on whether we are in the 20% category (genetically speaking):

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/01/27/gene-variant-associated-with-better-aging-cognitive-function-study/?intcmp=latestnews

vincemulhollon
01-28-2015, 08:45 AM
If my parents knew ahead of time the kinds of things I'd be doing as a teen they'd have kept their legs crossed.

One truth of humanity for centuries is every generation of teens thinks their generation is the inventor of their equivalent of sex drugs and rock n roll, so on the topic of knowledge being inherited... teens would probably know a lot of stuff about their parents (and grandparents) that would make them go "ewwwww gross".

Its one thing to suspect great - great - great - grannie was a polka band groupie, another thing to know it, and worst of all inheriting memories of the actual act with the tuba player, ewwwwwwwww.

And think of the fun of converting from "what IF my parents find out" to "what WHEN my kids find out"

AD5MB
01-28-2015, 09:07 AM
one group of people would inherit the knowledge that Murray Finkelstein was the one true prophet of the one true God, and Delistan is their homeland by decree of said one true God

Another group of people would inherit the knowledge that John Jacob Jingleheimer Scmidt was the one true prophet of the one true God, and Pakistein is their homeland by decree of said one true God

the territories of Delistan and Pakistein overlap 99%

one group of people would inherit the knowledge that abortion is a womans right, another group of people would inherit the knowledge that abortion is an abomination in the eyes of the one true God

you would have the mess we have now, but there would be zero prospect of ever changing anyones mind. versus the.00001 percent possibility we have now.

brian Rupnow
01-28-2015, 09:18 AM
Vince--I like the idea of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. There will never be another summer like "the summer of love" and I lived it. But, noooo, that's not the kind of knowledge I was talking about.--and I wouldn't want to take the fun away from everyone who learns about it for the first time. I'm talking more about all of the things we learn in the trades and the professions. I have went through about four major phases of learning brand new, but sometimes related "things" in my life. Some I excelled at, some I was mediocre at, but they were all new, exciting, terrifying, and gratifying, and all opened up new, wonderful worlds to me. My god, I love to learn new things.--And those are the things I hate to see lost.---Brian

Lew Hartswick
01-28-2015, 10:04 AM
It's a good thing it isn't like that or evolution wouldn't work. :-)
...lew...

danlb
01-28-2015, 01:38 PM
It would be interesting if we inherited knowledge.

The current Hi-Tech workplace tends to ignore the lessons learned in the past. They glorify the "fresh minded innovators" and discount as obstructionist those who know why the "fresh new idea" failed the last few times it was tried.

The biggest downfall of inherited knowledge would be the tendency to continue to use "good enough" processes and procedures. People tend to use the same techniques that were found to work satisfactorily in the past. Fresh minds don't know what the best way is, so occasionally they stumble upon a slightly better way to do things as they reinvent the wheel.

I think it would be even better if we could absorb the wisdom of our elders as they pass. I think being able to acquire my grandmother's compassion and understanding nature would be much more important than knowing her peanut butter fudge recipe.

Dan

Alistair Hosie
01-28-2015, 01:40 PM
Every time a new baby is born, it starts out at zero knowledge base.

Sorry but that's totally untrue in fact we don't come into this life without knowledge or a completely blank slate on the contrary we are actually pretty well already pre-programed.And scientists accept this now and have done for many years.
For example if you sit a small baby on a table top they will not crawl over the edge.They will go to the edge,then they sense fear and never do go over the edge.Also even in the womb if the mother starts an argument with a stranger.If the baby is monitored it becomes very alarmed and upset, however if the argument is between the mother and father it is much calmer about it.There are thousands of such recorded cases,covering many aspects of child developement .Alistair

BigBoy1
01-28-2015, 02:41 PM
Just think, if knowledge was inherited, I guess stupidity would be too!

danlb
01-28-2015, 02:48 PM
Just think, if knowledge was inherited, I guess stupidity would be too!

That is actually the scary part.

A study was done on people who were inept vs people who were skilled. Almost all the inept people were of the opinion that they knew what they were doing and were convinced that they were doing it well. Most of the skilled people were somewhat uncertain of their skills and tried to improve.

The numb-skull next door would pass that certainty to his son, who would start life with the same handicap that his dad has. He would be filled with flawed knowledge and the certainty that he was right. That would be sad.


Dan

JohnMartin
01-28-2015, 04:31 PM
And yet, aren't there times when you "just knew" how to do something - something that you had never done or seen done before?

I have many tools that belonged to my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and maybe even further back. There are times when using them that I feel that my hands may be guided by someone other than me. Crazy, I know.

I have a strong background in science. In high school in the early 1960s, two discoveries really struck me. One was the experimentation that showed that the so-called inert gases, with full complements of electrons in their highest orbits, could indeed form compounds. The second was the discovery that planaria which had learned a behavior - reaction to light - would, when ground up in a blender and fed to other planaria, pass along that learned behavior. Pretty weird stuff.

How to allow for free will, if the brain is nothing more than a supercomputer?

John

dp
01-28-2015, 05:00 PM
Intuition is one of the gifts we have that many living things lack. No matter much of it you have and how many typewriters and years you make available to them, broccoli will never write a poem :)