How do you consume knowledge?

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Openly, thoughtfully, critically; with interest and curiosity.

Much of what we are told is ‘belief’ masquerading as ‘fact.’ Of the things that would qualify as fact, all are wrong outside a particular context. Knowledge constitutes a body of belief about how things in the world work that is informed by facts and mental models that operate on them.

Belief is a mental representation in our minds of something that exists in the real world, something that is verifiable (or falsifiable) by ourselves and by others, given the right tools and knowledge. Some of our belief about fact will correspond to actual phenomena in a constructive way. Some of our belief will have a highly conditional effect on our behavior sometimes it will produce favorable results, sometimes unfavorable ones. Some beliefs will cause us to behave in ways that create effects that are beneficial in one respect but detrimental in others. Most beliefs about societal roles are rife with such ambiguities.

The thoughtful and critical consumption of knowledge will help us form beliefs that produce fewer detrimental effects and more beneficial ones both for ourselves and for others. Failures of curiousity, critical evaluation, and good judgment cause us to settle too quickly for half-truths, easy answers, and ‘facts’ that produce outcomes preferentially beneficial to powerful entities or special interests while simultaneously disadvantaging us or ones we care about.

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