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Don’t Get Fooled by Chauffeur Knowledge

June 7, 2013

Filed under: Philosophy — Tags: , , , — Barry @ 10:00 AM

images-4Today’s world is quite complicated.  We live in an age of information overload.  It is difficult to feel secure in knowing that we are keeping up when so much information floods our senses everyday.

If you think that you are suffering from information overload then you may be right – a new study shows everyone is bombarded by the equivalent of 174 newspapers of data a day.

My new favorite book The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli, which I referenced in another post, discusses a way to think more critically about some of the information we are exposed to.

Question who the information is coming from.

Make sure the person who is guiding you doesn’t have another agenda.  More equipment, supplies and advice is sold by people who just don’t know what they are talking about—they have what Dobelli calls chauffeur knowledge.

What’s chauffeur knowledge?

Well it goes back to Dr. Max Planck, one of the inventors of quantum physics.  Back in 1920, before the days of television,  and the Internet, words spread very slowly.  When a famous scientist had to teach, he had to travel and give lectures.  Planck had a chauffeured car to take him all around Europe to spread the word about his new theories.

One day his chauffeur asked, “Dr. Planck, you must be tired of giving the same lecture night after night.  I know it like the back of my hand.  Would you like me to give the lecture for you tonight?”

Planck, being kind of a fun guy agreed.

So off they went, and the chauffeur gave the lecture while Planck sat in the front row, posing as…you guessed it…his chauffeur.

When the lecture ended a doctor stood and asked a question.

Without missing a beat the real chauffeur said, “I am so surprised doctor, that someone of your esteem would ask such an elemental question…as a matter of fact, the answer is so simple I will let my chauffeur answer it.”

With all of the information coming at us these days in the form of e-mail solicitations, internet advertising and the intense pressure to keep up, dentists must use their ability to think critically about who is providing the information…or they stand to use mis-information and suffer the consequences.

In today’s world, information is our currency…we can convert good knowledge, principles and information into tangible success…one way to stay safe is to watch for the chauffeur.







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