Week 1 – Core Friday Lecture – “What Do We Know?”

Week 1 – Core Friday Lecture

The lecture was called “What Do We Know?” and was being presented by Tom Hothem.  The title itself made me ask myself that question and reflect upon it. I was sure of what I knew and some things that I did not know. However, I also realized that I might not know what I don’t know. Tom started off by telling us that we should know how to apply our knowledge and explained the importance of being knowledgeable.

By asking the audience of what we knew, he eventually explained to us that our knowledge is time specific and students in the far future might not know what we were talking about.  Students in the future may not know anything about Rebecca Black (they’re so lucky). As the lecture went on, we learned that it is a lot more difficult to name some of the things that we don’t know.  Tom Hothem later stated, “Precision + Congruence = Knowledge”.  Paraphrasing what Carl Sagan stated, one must be brave to challenge convention.  A good example of this would be Galileo. His research in proving that the Earth and the moon revolved around the sun was mocked by the Christian church. Challenging Albert Einstein’s theory, now scientists have proved that particles can move faster than the speed of light.

I think that our brain capacity is very limited and the list for the things we don’t know actually greatly exceeds the list of the things that we actually know. Some of the things that we think we know might actually be incorrect or inaccurate.  It could be a fallacy or a rumor that we were so use to hearing that we unconsciously assumed that it must be true. Our knowledge can be challenged and stated as incorrect.

If the thing that we know now is only correct by convention, then does that mean that we don’t actually know what we think we know? Are the content that’s being taught in our textbooks accurate or are they just theories waiting to be challenged by the brave in the future? Since it is impossible to know everything, how can we do our best to get close to knowing everything?

~Vivian Tran~

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One thought on “Week 1 – Core Friday Lecture – “What Do We Know?”

  1. What great questions! I am hoping that classmates will respond. This blogging is wonderful and I enjoyed reading your insights. I’ll be back for more interaction. Keep up the good work!
    ~ Pam

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