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  1. #1
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    Knowledge is not understanding

    If you think knowledge is (equals) understanding, think again.

    Engineer, Destin Sandline did a cool experiment. A welder friend of his built a backwards bike so that when you turn the handle bars to the right, the bike goes to the left and visa versa. No big deal, right, just make a mental adjustment and figure out how to ride the backwards bike? Not so. This is near impossible to learn quickly. His welder friend challenged him to ride the backwards bike. He couldn’t. He soon became determined to overwrite his intelligent engineering brain’s memory of bike riding which he learned when he was a young boy, but it took about eight months with daily consistent practice. He points out that when learning to ride a backwards bike - he knew how to do, but he still could not do it.

    Doesn’t this sound familiar when some of us have taken tests? We've studied the text book thoroughly and all our notes and we know what to do - but for some reason we still can't do it?

    This experiment has some important and reflective implications -- some of which are:

    * Knowledge is not understanding
    * We look at the world with a bias
    * Truth is truth

    The experiment also helps demonstrate why we have some days where everything seems to work out and synchronize while and other days are just disastrous.

    If you take the time to watch him explaining and going through the experiment, can you think of more life implications of this result?



    With All Thy Getting Get Understanding. (Prov. 4:7.)
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  3. #2
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    Re: Knowledge is not understanding

    I dont think there is anything at all in this experiment that proves or even makes it probablisitc that knowledge does not equal understanding. I hold that view because it seems to equate physical difficulty of the brain re-adjusting to something known and understood (how to ride a bike), for that knowledge and understanding. In order for the case to go through one would have to demonstrate that physical difficulty or inability to do X is = to lack of understanding of how to do X. That isn't an acheivable task hence the OP fails.
    Do what you can, where you are, with what you have

  4. #3
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    Re: Knowledge is not understanding

    Having mastered the backwards bike he may have the same problem riding an ordinary bike.
    Bike riding is a practical skill. The difficulty of mirror reading as exemplified when driving is another tricky switch to make but practice makes perfect given time.
    But you are right understanding is much deeper than knowledge but knowledge must come first.
    I believe understanding is beyond our control and has a large emotional element.
    You can hear a piece of music but fail many times to understand it. You can read a great work of fiction at many different levels.
    We should not spend our lives gaining knowledge but look for understanding

  5. #4
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    Re: Knowledge is not understanding

    Quote Originally Posted by kaptonok View Post
    Having mastered the backwards bike he may have the same problem riding an ordinary bike.
    He did indeed have a hard time remembering how to ride a normal bike after taking eight months to have his brain synch up what he knew with understanding what he knew regarding riding a backwards bike. Towards the end of the video he shows what happened. But it only took him about 20 minutes for his brain to switch back and remember those life long skills.

    We should not spend our lives gaining knowledge but look for understanding
    There's nothing wrong with knowledge, but I share the point I think you are trying to make -- knowledge is not enough nor the end game. Knowledge can lead to greater understanding, but it appears that it's just a piece of the puzzle.
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 27th, 2015 at 03:43 PM.
    "The universe is immaterial-mental and spiritual.” --"The Mental Universe” | Nature
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  7. #5
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    Re: Knowledge is not understanding

    I hate to be pedantic but I think he also fully understands how the backwards bike is supposed to work; i.e. he intellectually knows what to do and how it works -- that's what the word 'understanding' means.

    What he doesn't possess is the physical muscle memory and that's an entirely different thing. Just because you can't do something it doesn't mean that you don't understand it. Everything we physically do requires practice and training whether its sports or cooking or typing on a Dvorak keyboard or playing a video game. Clearly though somethings are harder to 'learn' or 'unlearn' and I think this guy has hit on something that seems uniquely fundamental to our inner workings. I dispute though that this could really called 'thinking' per se.

    Nevertheless, this is very common - many video games offer an option to reverse how you control the Y axis. Some people want their view to go up when you push up, others want the direct opposite and its very difficult to play it the way you're not used to; perhaps not 8 months difficult but it's a similar physical reaction.

    I'm sure this reveals a deep truth about the brain and possibly how our minds work though that may be linked to our personal biases - why are some physical tasks much easier to learn than others? Perhaps when riding a bike, it involves many more areas of the brain or perhaps it's the number of different things that need to be kept coordinated. It's definitely an interesting phenomenon but I think the guy is stretching the word 'understanding' to breaking point.

  8. #6
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    Re: Knowledge is not understanding

    That's why we have the wonderful geeky word "Grock" which is more or less the idea that you not only know it, not only understand it, but are metaphysically one with whatever it is you Grock. I think if you Grocked the backwards bike you could ride it like a pro!
    Feed me some debate pellets!

 

 

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