Sharing Knowledge

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“You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.” 
Albert Camus

Knowledge

Themistoclea, the sacred priestess at Delphi, and mentor of the renowned Pythagoras, did not hoard knowledge. Zeno of Elea, famous for his mind-bending paradoxes, did not hoard knowledge. Diotima of Mantinea willingly shared her ideas on Platonic love while Arete of Cyrene wrote 40 books during her 35 years of teaching the next generation of philosophers.

We live in the age of information, where technology allows us to connect with others on the other side of the globe in a matter of seconds.  Yet, there is a ubiquitous fear that if we share knowledge we may be at a disadvantage.  Within a highly competitive job market, dispensing shards of knowledge on a “need to know basis” is not uncommon.

Great thinkers share knowledge, without fear that their personal power will be eroded.   Joseph L. Badaracco, a professor of Business Ethics at Harvard Business School, suggest that “In today’s environment, hoarding knowledge ultimately erodes your power.  If you know something very important, the way to get power is by actually sharing it.”

Thank you to my friends in the blogging community for sharing your knowledge, your creativity and your enthusiasm.  Our power is growing exponentially.

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. 
Robin Morgan, an American Poet, Author, Political Theorist and Activist

The Philosopher of Paradoxes

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“The goal of life is living in agreement with Nature.” 
Zeno

Athens

Zeno of Elea is renowned for his paradoxes. Indeed, they continue to challenge, confound, inspire and amuse even until this day. We can thank Plato for what little we know of Zeno’s life.  Plato wrote in his Parmenides dialogue of a meeting in Athens between Parmenides, Zeno and a young Socrates.  I can only imagine the intellectual energy generated by their conversation.

Zeno defended Parmenides’ views against the followers of Pythagoras by introducing a series of paradoxes to argue that change and plurality (a belief in the existence of many things rather than only one) are illusory. It seems that there may have been up to 40 paradoxes; unfortunately, only two have survived over the centuries.

The paradox that I recall suggests that Achilles of The Iliad fame, at his best speed, could never catch a tortoise that had been given a head start.   Suppose you want to walk to the other side of a room, the end point. Before you reach the end point, you must first reach the halfway point, but before that, you must reach the halfway point of that, and the halfway point of that, and so on.  If space consists of an infinite series of points, to complete the walk across the room, you must pass every one of those points.  Bottom line – you can never move through all of those infinite points within a finite timeline.  A tortoise, with the benefit of a head start, will outperform even the great Achilles.

“if being is many, it must be both like and unlike, and this is impossible, for neither can the like be unlike, nor the unlike like” 
Zeno