Friday, July 24, 2009

More on Healthcare: Knowledge as Truth

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.
- Adlai E. Stevenson

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. - KAHLIL GIBRAN


The healthcare debate continues as it should until the best possible combination of attributes have been incorporated into a bill that can be approved by both legislative bodies, and is worthy of signing by the President.

But, now that so much information, some of it conflicting and some of it misinformation, is out there wouldn't it be nice to able to easily verify its accuracy?

Here's an authoritative website that seems pretty unbiased regarding the current healthcare rhetoric which I found useful.

There are also two new NYT editorials on healthcare, by David Brooks and Paul Krugman, which most folks will find interesting.

Have you noticed how the ad campaigns -pro and con- have picked up in intensity?
Maybe the '' website can help sort out who's spinning what, and at least zero in on the range of reasonable estimates that are used.

The concept of what constitutes knowledge, and its proper application to real situations has been a constant theme of this blog, because it has been main interest of mine all of my life.

With that in mind, this Wikipedia website goes into some detail in describing knowledge.

This phrase has been closest to mine: 'The definition of knowledge is a matter of on-going debate among philosophers in the field of epistemology. The classical definition, described but not ultimately endorsed by Plato[1], has it that in order for there to be knowledge at least three criteria must be fulfilled; that in order to count as knowledge, a statement must be justified, true, and believed.'

Of course, there are other definitions, qualifications and interpretations of what knowledge means, especially those which prefer to emphasize beliefs, as opposed to provable facts.
That debate will never end, nor should it, but true knowledge ought to be communicable, capable of appealing to reason and provable to others.

As one of our Founding Fathers put it:
"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives." - James Madison

Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability, and to prevent, or at least to slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destabilizer. Because its function is to put knowledge to work -- on tools, processes, and products; on work; on knowledge itself -- it must be organized for constant change. - PETER F. DRUCKER

If you don't read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. - MARK TWAIN