KEW Episode 65: How Do We Know if We Really Know What We Think We Know?

To some, this is a ridiculous question steeped in pointless naval gazing. To others, it’s a comedic take on people who ask the ‘big questions’. To others this is a reasonable assessment of what we want to understand. To me, it’s all three at the same time. And maybe that’s the point.

And like most rhetorical questions, I don’t really want to KNOW if I really know what I think I know. Rather, I’m curious about how this questions makes one think a few steps ahead. It’s not about what we know. It’s about the idea that we think we know in the first place. Like, what makes us think we are so awesome that we can understand the very nature of a thing? What makes us think we are so special? Why are we the only living thing on the planet that can ‘know’? Or is that even a logical thought in the first place?

So, yeah, wondering whether we can even really know things is interesting in and of itself. Perhaps even more interesting than the simple question of whether we are right or wrong. Because that’s the nature of knowing, I think. Knowing implies we are correct. And like my buddy Paul Gadola says, we all think we are correct. So knowing is a bit biased to say the least. We ALL think we know. And we often disagree. And modernity has brought, if nothing else, an ever increasing number of potential explanations to things which means the options of knowing what is right are becoming more and more infinite.

In other words, knowing, or being right, is increasingly more impossible. And, more importantly, does it even matter? If there are ‘subjective truths’ (which I believe are really subjective realities, and not truths at all) then REALLY what does it matter? Can’t we all be right? Doesn’t everyone get a trophy?

What follows, then, is my curiosity in the knowing itself. Not whether or not I know. And how did I arrive at that knowing? One of the major assumptions of the Are vs Should Problem is that much of what we think and believe was simply inherited, so why do we connect so much of our identity with this inherited ‘knowledge’?

Moreover, isn’t it the capacity to think we know stuff far more interesting than actually knowing the stuff? Were the ancient Greeks correct to ‘know thyself’? Isn’t that the first step, anyway? How can we know ANYTHING without first understanding how we would even begin to know in the first place?

Podcast audio download here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/9261427-kew-episode-65-how-do-we-know-if-we-really-know-what-we-think-we-know.mp3?download=true

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YouTube video link here: https://youtu.be/9qGAvcDwg6M

Here are two links to the Toltec and Taoist ideas of ‘not doing’ and ‘non thinking’:

Preview video below:

KEW Episode 50: The Are vs. Should Problem

This episode is a milestone for several reasons. One, it’s the 50th episode and, for a weekly podcast that means it has been about a year, which is also a not insignificant milestone. For a one-man-band hobby podcaster, that’s a pretty good run. When I started KEW I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was trying to accomplish over the long term.

And, really, I began asking myself that question around Episode 41 when I announced the ‘state of the podcast’, which was mostly about changing up a few mechanical aspects like social media and shortening the episodes from an hour or more to around 20 minutes.

Prior to that I was on a roll of episodes that reflected my personal growth (Ep. 33: Soul, Ep. 34 Self, Ep. 36: Narcissism and Codependency) and things I have learned in counseling, therapy, and coaching.

The rest of the Episodes tended to address concepts I have thought about for years or longer. I learned a lot by sitting down and talking these concepts through in podcast form.

Then I did an interview series about Curiosity that gave me some experience networking and interviewing but also expounded on a key element of what KEW was all about. And I didn’t realize this when I started.

In fact, I didn’t now much when I started, but I did know I wanted to develop some cohesion across my varied thoughts. I wanted to find a theme in this work that could be organized into some sort of cohesive document, series, or work. I wanted to find the patterns in my ideas and figure out how to put them all together to be presented as an integrated whole.

And Episode 50 seemed like the right time to so.

I have spent the past few weeks figuring out what this integrative device would be and I have found a place to start.

The reason I was compelled to do this podcast/blog/vlog is to address a single theme:

The human condition is a struggle between who we ARE and who we think we SHOULD BE

Though I’m sure this isn’t entirely universal, it’s close enough for me. And it IS me. And I want to share my thoughts about the WHAT, WHY, and HOW of this struggle with the world. Because I bring a unique perspective, and I will argue that UNIQUENESS is supposed to be expressed.

SO, inherent to my argument, basically Episode 50 forward, is me expressing my unique offering to the world about what, why, and how we deal with this struggle. The ‘Are vs. Should’ Problem, if you will.

And I will do this in real time.

I have a rough ‘table of contents’ for two products. One about the What and the Why, and one about the How. Basically, I will develop, in conjunction with weekly podcast topics, this table of contents into two cohesive manuscripts to be released at some later date. The first will explain WHAT *I* think this dilemma IS and WHY *I* think this struggle exists. In the second book I will share HOW *I* think we can deal with or address this struggle.

These works will build upon my SCIENCE knowledge and PERSONAL GROWTH experience. My credentials or credibility, if you will. It’s what I have, after all. And who I am. And that’s all I got.

So Episode 50 explains all that in a bit more detail

Podcast audio download link here: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8714277-kew-episode-50-are-vs-should.mp3?download=true

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YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/S2yLroVnJww

KEW Curiosity Interview Series 10: Chris Burcher

This is the final episode in the Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom Curiosity series. I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, whether I’d be a good interviewer, or whether people I did, or didn’t know, would have anything interesting to say about Curiosity. Well, I learned a TON about myself and about curiosity, and I hope that these interviews stimulate Curiosity in others.

I only knew one of the interviewees personally, and I we had really just met. And I knew little, if anything about the other eight. These interviews represent two people meeting, for the first time mostly, and having a conversation about whatever came to mind and using Curiosity as a starting point.

I was amazed to get so many points of view about what I thought was a pretty straightforward subject. Turns out, Curiosity is a complex idea and a word that means many things to different people. It makes me wonder if most words are like that, or if most things have a more discreet definition.

Of course Curiosity is about wanting to know things, but I was surprised to hear several people say that Curiosity is innate; we are born with a ‘ravenous’ Curiosity (according to Bernhard Kutzler, with whom I now agree). This makes me wonder, then, why we aren’t as curious when we get older? Dana Humphrey suggests it could be because curiosity often stimulates ACTION, and that taking action requires courage. Are we afraid of being curious? Fascinating.

Some folks seem to live in a world that is literally FULL of curiosity. David McRaney, for example, says he has never been bored, or never NOT been curious! And I know from experience, and several interviewees agreed, that being curious is what helps motivate me to get out of bed in the morning. So, it seems Curiosity is a GOOD thing, at least, despite potentially requiring some scary actions sometimes.

Several key elements of being human were brought up by other interviewees. There was a theme of how important it is to love yourself first and to not listen to the ‘roommate’ voice in your head trying to beat you up. It seems the state of being Curious requires a ‘healthy life’, both mentally and physically, to allow the Curiosity to blossom. And maybe this gets at how Curiosity can be ‘expressed’ into action, or held in our minds as mental wonder.

But this theme that Curiosity, both as a mental construct and as a DOING in the world, seems important. And from this series I conclude that Curiosity is a natural part of being human, and that it is CRITICAL that we nurture a curiosity to maintain health, or to ward of a state of dis-ease. Curiosity, somehow, is pushed to the side as we age and we must consciously make an effort to maintain a Curious state of mind if we want to live full lives. It is clear to me now that maintaining a healthy Curiosity is as important as being kind to yourself or practicing daily meditation or similar habits.

There is much more to be understood, but I truly appreciate the knowledge shared and created during these interviews and for the time each person shared with us. I hope you enjoy listening and that you hear or see something that makes you Curious.

Curiosity Interview Series 1: Paul Gadola

Curiosity Interview Series 2: Mandy Napier

Curiosity Interview Series 3: DJ Doran

Curiosity Interview Series 4: David McRaney

Curiosity Interview Series 5: Dana Humphrey

Curiosity Interview Series 6: Dan Faill

Curiosity Interview Series 7: Dan Tassone

Curiosity Interview Series 8: Bernhard Kutzler

Curiosity Interview Series 9: Marcas Hemmila

Direct link to podcast audio download: https://pdcn.co/e/https://chtbl.com/track/CGDA9D/www.buzzsprout.com/530563/8649725-kew-curiosity-interview-series-10-chris-burcher.mp3?download=true

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Direct link to YouTube video: https://youtu.be/tumaCgvcNto