Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Knowledge is a currency that is traded differently

When I wrote down the title of the post I knew exactly what I wanted to write, but as I started to think about it, the more I was confused. What is the definition of knowledge? How do you call someone knowledgeable? does someone who talk about one subject really well considered knowledgeable or does one person who knows little considered knowledgeable? I've met enough intelligent people to know what intelligence and knowledge look like. But that's not what I am talking about, I am talking about the everyday information that changes your life, but is rather basic knowledge to many.

Since I lived in a place where I had no family or friends, I tried to read up as much as possible about everything around me, the US Warship, the battle of Erie, the places to see around Erie and yet the most interesting suggestions came from friends who lived around. My best pieces of information came from Trip Advisor where kind souls put up reviews of places in the hope that it would help someone. Knowledge is a currency, the more you exchange the more of it you have, like happiness.

We were driving through Death Valley and making pit stops as needed, along the way we met lots of people who volunteered to give us information, no ulterior motives. Same with Utah, a 60 year old ranger gave us insights into the terrain that no book can and no book ever will. We'd exchange pleasantries, talk to them for a bit and be on our way. Armed with knowledge and insight our travel became more fruitful. 

Not just big trips, even on small trips to the grocery store we'd have a executive who would be most happy to help, in return we didn't have anything to offer. Another incident that I remember is of the nice cashier lady at a jewllery store; we were looking for gifts and she showed us some lovely pieces but they were diamonds, we told her that we didn't want to buy diamonds without being sure that it was right for the person (something about stones having a personality), she started telling us all about birthstones and how in the US you could buy diamonds for any occasion and how wildly different in was in India. Honestly, I don't know about stones having a personality conflict, but I understand the economics of it, diamonds are expensive and exclusive, trying to limit the access to these stones with superstition seems completely plausible. Again, that's just a working theory. 

Whether it was someone who taught me about raising a pet, or about dealing with the cold, whether it was someone who taught me the right order in shopping or the right way to do laundry, what about all those hours my mother spent on the phone teaching me how to make a dish? Those tutorials on youtube to make (name anything) this concept of "knowledge transfer" although looks corporate it is essentially how we live our life on a daily basis. That's how we learn to survive.


  1. It is interesting to think of knowledge as a currency. When it's exchanged freely, everyone feels richer. But when you put a monetary price on it, I think it is no longer a currency, but rather a commodity called "intelectual property". But that's a whole 'nother train of thought. :)

  2. Hubby always reads up on new areas we are moving to in order to get "the lay of the land" but the most information obtained is from actually talking to people who live there; that is knowledge. I found connecting with local Facebook groups in cities is a good way to find that knowledge too.


  3. I really loved this post, Maggie!
    The title itself seems so striking. And the thought behind it. I wonder why I never thought about it before!
    And now with the advent of social media, knowledge is a currency enabling people al over the world to make transactions quickly. To take an example, I learnt so many new things about foreign cultures via your blog posts. It certainly is amazing! :)

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