Shared vs Personal Knowledge. Which deserves the crown?

Shared knowledge is seen as emerging from interaction with others. Knowledge is ‘shared’ because it belongs to a group and therefore has a group identity. This means that this knowledge can be discussed and even debated, therefore it has this sense of reliability that personal knowledge lacks. Shared knowledge is ‘impersonal’ and so, can be criticized, however, there are a few conditions necessary to acquire this knowledge: a form of language is needed and most importantly an agreed form of that language, it would be extremely difficult to communicate with someone that doesn’t think in a similar way. Secondly,  motivation or drive that makes others want to share problems is required this could be created through or a sense of competitive reward. Thirdly, the knowledge needs the ability to be transported over distance and time, therefore, certain technologies are required for this e.g. literature or the Internet. Finally,  a fundamental part of shared knowledge is history because it gives meaningfulness to a situation. Shared knowledge holds great importance because it allows scientists and other learned people to develop theories; learn about different cultures and even allows me to write this now.

In comparison, personal knowledge represents an individual experience, it is seen as more of what ‘you know’ as opposed to what ‘we know’. And it is of course not shared! However, whether it unable to be shared or people are just unwilling to share the knowledge is what is most interesting. The idea that it can only be accessible to the individual much like thoughts and feelings builds this idea that knowledge is more of a possession and you can choose whether you share it or not. Therefore, without any incentive, it would not be shared. Although most likely, personal knowledge is tacit and therefore cannot be put into words for it to be shared, for example: if you were taught how to sing, its doubtful that you would burst out singing like Michael Jackson. It is about personal practice but also, knowledge that is so individual and complex cannot be transported. This means that this knowledge cannot be developed because it cannot be interpreted and therefore can be seen as more of a hinderence, as certain knowledge is simply unlearnable. And so, I have come to the conclusion that shared knowledge is more useful because it doesn’t require a first-person experience meaning others are able to understand it.



What constitutes ‘good’?

Goodness is a man-made concept created to judge a person by their values and actions. We strive to be good people yet without a true understanding of what it means to in fact be good. According to the Oxford dictionary to be ‘good’ means to be ‘desired or approved of’. Therefore, goodness is simply a trait that makes you likable and so the belief that someone is good can change depending on who is being asked.  However, when you think of someone who is ‘good’, you picture a person with integrity, while being kind and honorable. And who goes out of their way to please others. Bill Gates is famously seen as a ‘good person’: he is very charismatic. And, despite profiting hugely on his computers, he gave most of his wealth away. This amounted to $35 billion dollars. He appeals to us. Therefore, goodness is a subjective word to describe something that pleases human beings and is more a narcissistic concept. On the other hand, Bill Gates also dropped out of college and was accused of building his company of the back of other people’s ideas. Is that ‘good’? And if you do something considered bad but your ‘good’ actions outweigh those bad actions, are you still ‘good’?