Nice exploration from David Amerland on the importance of sharing knowledge. Lots of very interesting links embedded…

Nice exploration from David Amerland on the importance of sharing knowledge. Lots of very interesting links embedded here too that are worth exploring.

Originally shared by David Amerland


I never take for granted the exceptionality of my position. I do what I love as a job and use my own curiosity and drive to explore the world I live in and also share what I then find with others: My sense of excitement at the things I discover is tempered by the awareness that every time I share a fresh piece of information, a new item of knowledge I seemingly act against my own self-interest and the argument that lies at the heart of human economic behavior ( which argues that he open sharing of information and knowledge ( devalues it and negates any advantage its possession might have given to the person first holding it.

Information, as Brand said, wants to be both free and expensive ( and these two things are seemingly irreconcilable. But that is only if your worldview is one of closed borders, silo-ed voices and status driven by the perception of value as the direct result of hoarding and accumulation.

That the world does not work like that, that it should not work like that, is a premise I’ve directly experienced. In my somewhat unconventional youth I was fortunate enough to encounter people who a more responsible-parenting environment would have kept me well away from. In the course of that contact not only did I learn that you can never judge a person by appearance ( but also that knowledge spread is a gift that keeps on coming back to you in many different and often unexpected ways.

I learnt that knowledge gained is basically static its value illusionary – we can choose to hoard it but it is already out of date the moment we acquire it. It is like a brick we hold onto hoping it will prove useful some day. What makes knowledge so powerful is that by sharing it we actually get to hear of the experiences of others. If knowledge is about information and how things work, experience is about facts and how things connect. It is what others will add to our knowledge or make of it that allows us to leverage information to gain more experience than we can possibly have on our own. By sharing knowledge we acquire more experience and perspective, we see how the brick we are holding can fit alongside other bricks to build an edifice that’s far bigger than just a dividing wall.

Kahneman often talks about the dynamic between experience and memory, the facts we know versus the facts we have knowledge of: The catalytic impact of openly sharing information finds proponents in the most unlikely quarters, like General Stanley McChrystal (, whose fight against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan led him to understand just how short-sighted the hoarding of information really is:

There is a suggestion, which to me makes sense, that there are only two kinds of people in the world. Those who share information and those who hoard it: They perhaps overlook (or willfully ignore) the massive benefits of sharing knowledge: and the desirability of a sharing culture: and its attributes:

The Middle Ages, arguably one of the darkest, most ignorant times of our history – a moment when we lived in relative isolation, obtaining our answers from sources considered pre-ordained and lacking all kinds of curiosity and even an awareness of our own ignorance ( was a time when knowledge and learning, reading and information sharing appeared to be almost prohibited. Reading and writing the purview of the few and the containment of knowledge only led to the end of early civilization ( and the virtual downfall of mankind.

It would take a near-global (for the time) pandemic to shake us out of that particular groove in which we were stuck in and kindle the Renaissance (

The sharing of knowledge, like the sharing of ideas opens up fresh avenues of cooperation and gain ( which paradoxically makes it compatible with basic motivation in human economic behavior theory, albeit in a somewhat broader, perhaps more enlightened and maybe more self-aware perspective.

Coming to terms with who we are takes more than just intelligence and it requires more than just knowledge. While it is as esoteric a journey as you might imagine it can be taught, to a degree and become an acquired skill: Given the fact that self-awareness, itself is a complex state with many components: a beginning, any beginning, might be a great place to start as we look, in detail, around our world, understand that it needs to change and begin to wonder how can this process even start (

I would suggest that it starts small. It starts with sharing knowledge, experience and ideas. It starts with sharing the basis for beliefs and values ( It starts with accepting the compromises that will have to come with the careful consideration of the perspective of others.

It starts with us. Or it does not start at all.

I hope you’ve been curious enough to expand your selection of sugary treats to include more than one kind of croissants, donuts, cookies and chocolate cake and your choices of coffee are not locked in a groove of habit. Have an awesome Sunday wherever you are.

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