I promised to talk about how clarity is part of the loss of knowledge or rather what its role is.
So how can a person forget the knowledge or insight he has just read in a book?
We forget because what we are doing or reading or thinking isn’t important to us. I know I can hear you screaming now that there are millions of reasons to forget. If you analyze these ‘other’ reasons you will discover that the things you forget you were doing for distraction.
The book you were reading was because someone recommended it and you had some time you wanted to fill. There was no clear rationale for spending the time except you wanted to fill (replace with waste) the time. The author I mentioned in Part 1 of this article wrote a book recently that I discovered. It was something I wanted to understand. I had a clear reason for reading it. I read it three times to get a full understanding of the book.
I doubt I will forget much of the book.
Clarity of purpose for activities brings about a different focus. Clarity ends up defining why and what you are doing. It makes knowledge a very personal possession.
Your purpose tags what you’ve learned in a special way. It makes retention easier.
It ends up defining who you are.
So the upshot is when what you do is personally meaningful you will retain it.
“So”, I hear you asking, “How does this relate to Dave Rank and his condemnation of his colleagues?” The short answer is the knowledge of optics as a meaningful body of knowledge for the scientists was less important than publication and their career. They had no deep connection to their field other than inflating their egos.
Dave Rank was a counter example of this kind of careerism that led me to being clear in my life and career. I’ve always been intensely grateful for his mentoring.