(5) Knowledge and Happiness: don’t match? I

Most of the time, Researchers hope and aim to produce new knowledge by finding out new things about the object or subject they research about. This is pretty much the final destination where one wants to arrive in Research: to discover something new in order to improve an older condition or to come up with some ground breaking discoveries to open up a whole new dimension of the world we never knew before…

Happiness and knowledge is sometimes seen as contradictory (in academic world at least). Discovering new things means in the first place to fail many times. In the second place, it comes with struggles of editing or making technical work understandable. Most importantly and lastly, it implies questioning everything and all the time, preferably.

5

In Research, discovering is about running experiments over and over again, whatever experiments mean in your field. Editing, deciding what is the best research design, fixing the errors, considering numerous hypotheses, preferably also those that may never be answered in real world. A final paper with (good/expected) results is what makes  a Researcher happy, but it’s a bumpy road until you get there..

Some philosophers will tell you that the more you know, the more unhappy you’ll become. The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know or “I know that I know nothing” in the words of Aristotle and that is not a nice feeling. Nobody likes to feel stupid 🙂

So, if knowing more means being less happy due to frustrations, the risk of feeling stupid or other reasons, why don’t we just stop learning more and stay happy with the little things we know?

But then, if this is valid, who is going to learn more (and be unhappy) to contribute to progress/growth?

Can knowledge be produced together with happiness? Can we somehow combine the two of them and still reach the same outcome?

What do you think?

 

 

p.s.

 

Photo credit: photostique.com

 

 

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