The main reason knowledge is produced is to solve problems.


Darrel Hong
Mind Map by Darrel Hong, updated more than 1 year ago
Darrel Hong
Created by Darrel Hong almost 9 years ago

Resource summary

The main reason knowledge is produced is to solve problems.
  1. there is a lot of knowledge that has absolutely no use, its purely due to personal motivations
    1. science
      1. Ig Nobel prize
    2. knowledge could be produced to highlight problems instead of solving problems, but highlighting a problem might be seen as an important step to solving a problem.
      1. art examples
        1. conflict journalist
          1. Guernica (overused)
          2. science examples
          3. knowledge can be produced through serendipity, which solves problem that it was not intended for
            1. post-it example
              1. Silver was working at 3M trying to create super strong adhesives for use in the aerospace industry in building planes.  Instead of a super strong adhesive, though, he accidentally managed to create an incredibly weak, pressure sensitive adhesive agent called Acrylate Copolymer Microspheres. This adhesive did not interest 3M management as it was seen as too weak to be useful.  It did have two interesting features, though.  The first is that, when stuck to a surface, it can be peeled away without leaving any residue.  Specifically, the acrylic spheres only stick well to surfaces where they are tangent to the surface, thus allowing weak enough adhesion to be able to be peeled easily.  The second big feature is that the adhesive is re-usable, thanks to the fact that the spheres are incredibly strong and resist breaking, dissolving, or melting.   Despite these two notable features, no one, not even Silver himself, could think up a good marketable use for it. Thus, even with Silver promoting
                1. Ever wonder why the standard color for Post-It notes is yellow?  It turns out this was kind of an accident as well.  The official story from some at 3M is that it was because it created a “good emotional connection with users” and that it would “contrast well stuck to white paper”.  However, according to Geoff Nicholson there was no such thought given to the color.  The real reason Post-It notes were yellow was simply because the lab next door to where they were working on the Post-It note “had some scrap yellow paper – that’s why they were yellow; and when we went back and said ‘hey guys, you got any more scrap yellow paper?’ they said ‘you want any more go buy it yourself’, and that’s what we did, and that’s why they were yellow. To me it was another one of those incredible accidents. It was not thought out; nobody said they’d better be yellow rather than white because they would blend in – it was a pure accident.”
                  1. Now enter the second accident by chemical engineer Art Fry.  Besides working at 3M as a Product Development Engineer and being familiar with Silver’s adhesive thanks to attending one of Silver’s seminars on the low-tack adhesive, he also sung in a church choir in St. Paul, Minnesota.  One little problem he continually had to deal with was accidentally losing his song page markers in his hymn book while singing, with them falling out of the hymnal.  From this, he eventually had the stroke of genius to use some of Silver’s adhesive to help keep the slips of paper in the hymnal.  Fry then suggested to Nicholson and Silver that they were using the adhesive backwards.  Instead of sticking the adhesive to the bulletin board, they should “put it on a piece of paper and then we can stick it to anything.”
                2. why the view that knowledge solves problems
                  1. art
                    1. can fulfil human emotional needs
                      1. artistic expression
                        1. music is an innate part of humans
                          1. evokes emotions in audience members, happy, sad,
                          2. provides entertainment, which can be seen as a problem that is worth of ‘solving’ whats life without entertainment
                          3. science
                            1. The natural sciences as a whole aims to produce explanations about how the natural world works and how it came to be this way.
                              1. The first step of the scientific process is to make observations in nature. Then a scientist would ask questions and formulate hypotheses about why things are the way they are.
                                1. based on a problem
                            2. maths
                              1. is there a clear reason why knowledge is produced to solve problems
                                1. cast doubt on this view
                                2. The aims of virtually all the human sciences are the same: to explain human behaviour, formulate theories to predict it, and then develop remedies for the problems identified by those predictions.
                                3. definitions
                                  1. produce knowledge means coming up with new undiscovered knowledge
                                    1. a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome
                                      1. The reason we like puzzles is it helps us bring order to life. You are faced with problems every day in life. Most of them don’t have clear-cut solutions, and in most of them we’re only involved in a portion of solving the problem. If you’re trying to figure out what’s the best way to help your kid with homework, or what’s the fastest way to run errands downtown, you just muddle through the best you can and move on to the next thing. With a puzzle, you find the perfect solution, and you’ve achieved perfection. That’s something we don’t often get in life. It’s very tidy. You feel in control.
                                      2. not all problems are straighforward, easy to solve. some problems require lots of time, involves many aspects
                                        1. solving one part of the problem not equals to solving the problem
                                        2. even though certain knowledge might have been able to solve problems, when it was initially produced, it was not to solve the problem
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