Beware the price of wisdom...

Jason Bassford, August 8, 2000

This isn't so much an essay as a brief word of explanation as to the meaning of our company's slogan (i.e. the title of this article). As such, it doesn't really belong here - but, among the places it could have been put, this was the best choice. Then again, while the thoughts expressed here are meant to apply specifically to our own company, they are also easily portable - so they may have a general applicability after all.

It's almost humorous because neither my partner nor I realised a certain implication of the slogan until after we'd come up with it and made it official. In fact, it was pointed out to us at a family gathering in which, after hearing it, much laughter ensued. I have to admit that there is certainly room for jest in the jibe that our services, as the slogan might be taken to mean, will be "expensive". That certainly wasn't what we'd meant to convey when we thought of it.

The meaning of the slogan, as I see it, is twofold:

  1. A little knowledge can often be more dangerous than no knowledge at all. This is something that, in my years of experience in the field, I've come to recognise as a universal truth. If you know just enough about something to take control of it and attempt to change it to do what you want, but not enough to really know what affects this will have, you can end up in a situation far worse than the one you were trying to change in the first place. In other words, you shouldn't start messing with something unless you really know what you're doing; if you aren't sure of yourself there's nothing wrong with stopping and asking for advice. This applies to all of us, in all aspects of life.

  2. The more you know, the more you know that you don't know. This is another "truism" that I've come to believe in. Partly as a philosopher (see my Web site link from the "Who's in charge." section off of Inferno's home page), and just as somebody who's got more than just a couple years of living under my belt, I think that there's no end to the amount of learning / growing we each have to do, nor to the amount of knowledge we are able to acquire. As we learn more about something, it also becomes more and more obvious just how much there is to know about it. In my mind, the wisest person is one who realises just how much they don't know.
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