knowledge paradigm versus wisdom paradigm

in episode 50 of the wonder dome, francis briers discussed knowledge paradigms versus wisdom paradigms and the distinction has been rocking my mind.

here’s what i took from what he said: knowledge paradigms are linear and additive (aka knowledge always increases) and prioritize domain-specificity (aka knowledge is developed in an area or lane; it is not general or always widely applicable; and in some cases, it is perceived as more valuable because it is specific to a particular area or domain). wisdom paradigms on the other hand are circular (wisdom doesn’t grow, it deepens) and expansive (the basic truths stay the same while its applicability deepens).

lots of contemporary society exists in knowledge paradigms. many indigenous societies exist in wisdom paradigms.

:exploding head emoji:

this distinction feels exciting to me for a ton of reasons. one is that it helps me clarify what is missing in so many spaces with “smart” people. many people are overly driven by the assumptions of knowledge without holding knowledge in right balance and relationship with wisdom. another is that it really helps me think through why i feel so unexcited to encourage people into higher education. we have SO many smart people in the world… and it doesn’t seem to be helping us deal with the actual issues at hand: we are destroying ourselves, each other, and the planet’s capacity to hold our species (and others). we keep trying to solve “the problem” with technical fixes and more brilliant ideas. but it feels to me like what’s needed is wisdom. wisdom that says: we are where we are and we can’t go backwards (trying is putting energy into the wrong direction); if we can be with where we are, we can learn to grieve what’s been lost; once we grieve what’s been lost, we can explore what’s actually possible moving forward (knowing that what’s possible will not be what was possible in the past).

phew ok this took a turn off the path and into my climate/planet grief. and i am just gonna let this be what it is and not edit it back into coherence. :) have a nice day lol.

words / writing / post-processing
348w / 10min / 8min