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Know What and Know How

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					The current world is one where information abounds. The flow of
information moves so fast and increases so quickly that many have led
themselves to believe that this extreme amount of information means that
we have greater mastery over chance and uncertainty. However, the
financial collapse of 2008 demonstrated quite aptly that there is a
prolific difference between "Know What" and "Know How" when it comes to
situations of volatility or uncertainty.

For those who have not been living in a cave for the last few years,
volatility and uncertainty are an inextricable part of life that cannot
be controlled with mathematic algorithms. This is where 'know what' has
become woefully inept. By attempting to force reality into mathematical
models, the purveyors of self-proclaimed intelligence place the entire
world at the mercy of their algorithms. The pseudo -intellectual class has
attempted to make itself "master of the universe" by publishing highly
detailed forecasts built on nothing more than subjective assum ptions that
have been rolled into a quantitative model. The problem compounds even
more when people demand that public policy be based on the output of
these models.

This phenomenon results in a form of "Scientism" that emerges from a
combination of mathematical techniques that are used as a justification
for pushing subjective views or beliefs. The method for holding up these
forecasts that border on religion are to use the 'credentials' of people
who form the predictions as a method of insulating them from criticism.
The implicit belief of "Know What" or "Scientism" religion is that only
the elite possess the necessary intelligence for creating forecasts.

In contrast to this view, we have an emphasis on "Know How" or the
viewpoint that nobody possesses the necessary knowledge to accurately
predict the future. In this worldview, future trends represent the
emergence of many people making independent decisions, and success is
less about knowing what will happen and more about knowing how to make
astute decisions.

The net effect of recent focus on "Know What" and econometric forecasts
has been a de-facto regression toward medieval religion where the edicts
of leaders are to be obeyed without any thought or question. In the
current environment, just like the middle ages this phenomenon creates a
tremendous opening for graft and corruption by those who construct the
edicts that are handed down to the 'little people' who are expected to
obey.

The challenge that most people face in the face of this conflict between
"Know What" and "Know How" is that the promises of comfortable retirement
made by the "Know What" apostles are quickly becoming revealed as vacuous
and empty. The pension funds, trust accounts, and other means that
politicians have used to purchase votes with public funds are not
sufficiently capitalized to support the promises made to future retirees.

Ultimately, the only financial security available to regular people is to
"Know What" is necessary for building a portfolio that is completely
owned by them and free from the prying fingers of politicians, union
bosses, and corporate executives. This stands contrary to the "Know What"
religion, since it involves a departure from dependence on the pseudo-
intellectual elite for people's wellbeing. The unfortunate reality is
that political power comes from influence, and dependence on the
government places a tremendous amount of influence in the hands of those
who run the government.

When going throughout your life, resist the temptations from hucksters
and shysters who claim to have a 'secret' to financial success that they
will reveal only if you purchase their $6,000 system. These people are
simply peddling false hope to people who are desperate for a way to
improve their financial situation. Similarly, resist temptations to
believe people who try to tell you that a particular pension fund will
completely take care of your retirement needs, and that no other
investment is necessary. These people are also playing on a desire to
believe in financial security. In both cases, false hope is being sold to
exercise influence over large groups of people.

Actively seek knowledge about the principles of success that will help
you "Know How" to achieve your goals. Much of this information is
available for a very low cost through your library, the internet, or
other methods of distribution. The rub is that very few people will
actively market the principles of success. Most people marketing
information are trying to sell a 'system' that is based on some form of
ill-conceived prediction model. In the end, your best alternative for
creating a strong financial future is to build it yourself by practicing
the principles of success.

				
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posted:10/2/2010
language:English
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