I know – The danger of being wrong

Griffith, Douglas L., Jr.

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I Know - The Danger of Being Wrong A follow up to "My Environment Shaped Me" essays. How could my knowledge be dangerous? My knowledge became dangerous because it led me down a path form which I could not change it quick enough to avoid legal trouble. I had convinced myself that I was right; I had developed a belief which got me in trouble. I am inspired to write about how knowledge can be so wrong and the dangers it poses. The first point I want to address is that knowledge is dangerous due to its very nature - I know! When I accepted this, it was turned into a belief which then caused me to fail to reassess for truth or validity. Herein lies the danger of I know... I doubted, rejected other possibilities despite the evidence that I could be wrong. As one psychologist put it, "Beliefs trump facts." An example of this was my knowledge and belief in spanking. I learned it, I experienced it, I used it, and I also used it with the knowledge that it was illegal. Nevertheless, I believed I was right. I know - the danger of Being Wrong then surfaced... I knew it was violating a law, but I was stuck in my knowledge. This is where responsibility comes into play... I became responsible for what I should know, not what I know. Responsibility excludes excuses or justifications, and herein is the danger of I know. I behaved according to what I knew and it landed me in legal trouble because what I knew was illegal. I simply failed to change 2 my knowledge quickly enough. The second point is the importance of education. However, not even education guarantees that what you know is true. Perfect example of this is that the whole world operates on the idea that in Algebra negative numbers are smaller than positive numbers and smaller than zero (0). I have discovered that this knowledge is incorrect. Who then should be held responsible for the miseducation of the world? I don't only expose this error with words; I have an experiment to prove the error in knowledge; the error in education. Experiment: Suppose you have a tug of war... Ten people (same weight, strength, height, etc.) to the left of center (zero) -- negative and five people (same characteristics as the ten people) to the right of center (zero). Who will win? According to logic and reality the negative ten people will win. However, Algebra, as currently taught says that positive five is greater than negative ten; hence, five people will win. As you can see there is a conflict. Is the world right or is the experiment right? In addition, how can zero (the absence of something) be greater than negative ten (a magnitude to the left of zero)? It cannot! I therefore pose the question... Who should be held responsible? An individual who learns and then 3 acts or a society which teaches or influences an individual who acts? I ask these questions because just when knowledge of Algebra appeared certain, I discovered it is in error. I also ask these questions because my society (family, military, civilian life), its ideas, images, concepts formed me because I developed, I repeated what I saw, heard, or read, and then I even developed my own spin off which proved wrong. The power of formation proved greater than the power for me to change quickly enough to avoid legal trouble. I say this because it took 51 years of my life to question all that I had learned and to begin the transformation of my thinking and behavior. I can now say that I should have been able to change; however, I was too ignorant and stubborn to make this critical transformation. So, what's next? Simply accept my fate and move on based on lessons learned. I know - the danger of being wrong, proved valid for me because I thought I knew many things. I have demonstrated that the world is operating on erroneous knowledge of Algebra; and finally, I operated ignorantly, stubbornly, and failed to recognize need to change my thinking before legal troubles. Douglas L. Griffith, Jr. Mule Creek State Prison P.O. Box 409089 Ione, CA 95640 April 3, 2020; Friday

Author: Griffith, Douglas L., Jr.

Author Location: California

Date: April 3, 2020

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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