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Can excess knowledge be a detriment to success?

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posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:05 PM
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I've always had this unexplained feeling whenever I would start something new. My first chess game for example. I had the basic rules laid out to me in simple terms. Knowing my objective and not really dissecting the game into detail I then made moves without thinking about consequence too much. Apparently they were the right moves because I wound up beating my stunned veteran opponents. In the end they would all claim "beginner's luck" of course.

This is just one example of many occurrences throughout my life I've had when starting something new. Now I've put beginner's luck in quotes above because I feel it is what we humans refer to as this all so real phenomenon. This type of phenomenon can also occur at any other time of the experience as well, not just the beginning. But many of those stem from the lack of use of knowledge or thinking. It just so happens that when you try something new for the first time you really aren't using any kind of deep thought, rather you rely on instinct. Many of the worlds most significant discoveries also came about this way. Most of those discoveries were either by made mistake, accident or pure coincidence such as penicillin.

I recently came across this quote by Vaclav Havel which I think relates to all of this:

"Today, for instance, we may know immeasurably more about the universe than our ancestors did, and yet, it increasingly seems they knew something more essential about it than we do, something that escapes us. The same is true of nature and ourselves. The more thoroughly all our organs and their functions, their internal structure and biochemical reactions that take place within them are described, the more we seem to fail to the grasp the spirit, purpose and meaning of the system that they create together and that we experience as our unique self."

Now this goes way beyond beginner's luck, but it does seem like there is a connection of some sort. Check out some more accident discoveries here:

Popular Mechanics


edit on k00000015025America/Chicago1515 by kushness because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:13 PM
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originally posted by: kushness
Many of the worlds most significant discoveries also came about this way. Most of those discoveries were either by made mistake, accident or pure coincidence such as penicillin.



Simply untrue,

We have a host of anecdotal advancements that happened this way.

The rest come from long study and reasoned thought, standing on the shoulders of a multitude of work that came before them.

ITS not that Knowledge is the determent, its the ability to arrange that knowledge in new ways that leads to invention.

So more knowledge only helps the process, We just hear about the random ones, just like we hear about the crazy success stories.

Sure it happens, most comes with hard work though.



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:29 PM
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From my point of view a little bit of both luck(synchronicity) and the ability to arrange that knowledge in new ways.



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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I have had a long thought on this, and I find its roots deep into the psyche of creation. I wondered how that happened that my first real texas hold'em game went with amazing success. I finished first in home game tournament, while having experience only of five card draw poker. The rules of the new for me texas were presented at me the same night. I was feeling very lightly playing that night, because I used my bluff style which is very popular and useful for five card draw, but horrible for the math of texas. And some of my bluffs were really strange. Like re-raising on the flop with 2-7o not connected at all. Then after I get he pot, I showed my cards, but the second time I did this in the evening, the players could not believe this(me being so reckless to bluff with 2-7o in unappropriated situation ,where the odds call that I will be caught. The second time actually one person called, but magically I had a backdoor flush on the river only holding deuce of clubs, while the opponent had no clubs. Coincidence? In the beginning I thought so, but later my mind turned to another direction very soon as I questioned the basics of poker. Now I write a book about another way of poker strategy, not that understandable by mathematics. It is called "Flash before the River"

Hope you will read it some day.

Great thread OP



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 02:58 PM
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a reply to: kushness



edit on 4-5-2014 by midicon because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 11:47 PM
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originally posted by: kushness
I've always had this unexplained feeling whenever I would start something new. My first chess game for example. I had the basic rules laid out to me in simple terms. Knowing my objective and not really dissecting the game into detail I then made moves without thinking about consequence too much. Apparently they were the right moves because I wound up beating my stunned veteran opponents. In the end they would all claim "beginner's luck" of course.

This is just one example of many occurrences throughout my life I've had when starting something new. Now I've put beginner's luck in quotes above because I feel it is what we humans refer to as this all so real phenomenon. This type of phenomenon can also occur at any other time of the experience as well, not just the beginning. But many of those stem from the lack of use of knowledge or thinking. It just so happens that when you try something new for the first time you really aren't using any kind of deep thought, rather you rely on instinct. Many of the worlds most significant discoveries also came about this way. Most of those discoveries were either by made mistake, accident or pure coincidence such as penicillin.

I recently came across this quote by Vaclav Havel which I think relates to all of this:

"Today, for instance, we may know immeasurably more about the universe than our ancestors did, and yet, it increasingly seems they knew something more essential about it than we do, something that escapes us. The same is true of nature and ourselves. The more thoroughly all our organs and their functions, their internal structure and biochemical reactions that take place within them are described, the more we seem to fail to the grasp the spirit, purpose and meaning of the system that they create together and that we experience as our unique self."

Now this goes way beyond beginner's luck, but it does seem like there is a connection of some sort. Check out some more accident discoveries here:

Popular Mechanics



No. Excessive application of knowledge, yes.



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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No, but the lack of it sure messes things up



posted on May, 4 2014 @ 11:48 PM
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look up dark ages.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:21 AM
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originally posted by: BobAthome
look up dark ages.


Tried to but it was too dark to see anything. jk cheers



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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originally posted by: EviLCHiMP
No. Excessive application of knowledge, yes.



originally posted by: JacobsLadder
No, but the lack of it sure messes things up



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: BobAthome
look up dark ages.


Go on



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:36 AM
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originally posted by: benrl

originally posted by: kushness
Many of the worlds most significant discoveries also came about this way. Most of those discoveries were either by made mistake, accident or pure coincidence such as penicillin.



Simply untrue,

We have a host of anecdotal advancements that happened this way.

The rest come from long study and reasoned thought, standing on the shoulders of a multitude of work that came before them.

ITS not that Knowledge is the determent, its the ability to arrange that knowledge in new ways that leads to invention.

So more knowledge only helps the process, We just hear about the random ones, just like we hear about the crazy success stories.

Sure it happens, most comes with hard work though.


Knowledge is power but its not a means to an end.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 12:57 AM
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a reply to: kushness
Exactly! Knowledge is only as useful as the one who puts it to use.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 01:04 PM
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a reply to: kushness

i've heard u should do most thinking thru ur heart and thinking to much with your brain will only screw u up.



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 06:57 PM
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I for one can relate to that in video games...

The first I try a game, a boss, a level, a mode....whatever it is, I always do really good the first try and then it takes me a couple to get back just to the level I got to the first time.

Same for trying a new riff on guitar...the first time always is better than the other couple of times after.

It's like, we have the instincts to do just about anything but once we repeat the same action, our brain accesses memories to "try to enhance" the action but the memory banks just aren't ready to give enough information yet to counter the part of instinct that's been turned off.

I believe our brain to be somewhat similar to computers so we could relate "beginners luck" with RAM memory which processes fast but can't remember much after and then redoing the same action would combine RAM with ROM that been stored in memory, a hard drive so to say.

After a while, when our memory banks our filled with more direct knowledge of a particular action, I believe that we eventually become better...

This knowledge being a detriment or a perk depends on the way we use it. I believe that one of the most important part of intelligence is, not knowing a lot, but to use knowledge optimally.

Good tread kushness, I hope this catches up

edit on 5-5-2014 by theMediator because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2014 @ 07:01 PM
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originally posted by: Egoismyname
Now I write a book about another way of poker strategy, not that understandable by mathematics. It is called "Flash before the River"


Sounds interesting, I'm not a big poker fan but I do seem to, magically, understand pretty well.
I always have people telling me that ; "Oh those super big shot players, they count everything with numbers and probabilities and..."

I always felt that, sure probabilities are not to be pushed aside but too much counting just isn't gonna cut it, at least that's the way I feel when playing.



posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: theMediator
The first I try a game, a boss, a level, a mode....whatever it is, I always do really good the first try and then it takes me a couple to get back just to the level I got to the first time.


Yes! This example is perfect. You do very well your first time because you aren't using knowledge. Instead it seems like some kind of built in instinct we have. Your mind doesn't find any trace experience about this game yet it performs with this amazing level of skill to succeed. Then when you continue playing your skill drops dramatically until eventually it rises back up. Why is that?

An another note, if you subscribe to the multiverse theory, beginner's luck may also just be an event that was either pulled from a past universe which has already happened, or its an event that is occurring in a pararell universe which you have already built up a great skill towards. Therefor you perform this task with exceptional skill and accuracy your first time in your perceived universe.


originally posted by: theMediator


It's like, we have the instincts to do just about anything but once we repeat the same action, our brain accesses memories to "try to enhance" the action but the memory banks just aren't ready to give enough information yet to counter the part of instinct that's been turned off.

I believe our brain to be somewhat similar to computers so we could relate "beginners luck" with RAM memory which processes fast but can't remember much after and then redoing the same action would combine RAM with ROM that been stored in memory, a hard drive so to say.

After a while, when our memory banks our filled with more direct knowledge of a particular action, I believe that we eventually become better...



Great point about memory getting filled up. If our brains work anything like computers, similar topics get bundled together and get stored on many different sectors across a finite space. The more you learn about a certain topic the more knowledge gets bundled into that particular sector.

So when you are knowledgeable about something you might have a great deal of information about it, but retrieval of that information might not be as instantaneous as before. You are now searching through many layers of information and thus putting more stress on the searching process itself.



posted on May, 8 2014 @ 09:19 PM
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originally posted by: npo902
a reply to: kushness

i've heard u should do most thinking thru ur heart and thinking to much with your brain will only screw u up.


I've heard this saying is inaccurate. Everyone thinks it is the heart but in actuality it is your stomach. Now there is a theory that says your stomach does have a mind of its own which is not at all related to the brain. This is why you sometime feel you are thinking with your heart.



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