Knowledge and Wisdom for What?

Thinking about the year 2020 and the fact we are living in the future:

We seem to want to augment our minds, become “smarter”, “more intelligent”, to augment ourselves with AI/machines, to process more data more quickly — but towards what ends?

Some people might be seeking “knowledge”, others “wisdom”, and others want a ‘competitive advantage’. But to sum up, it seems that most people just want ways to make more money. But money for what?

Taking the money argument aside; I am curious about people who are seeking knowledge and wisdom for “knowledge” or “wisdom’s” sake. What are we really looking for?

Do we want happiness?


I think some people are seeking knowledge and wisdom in order to discover the ‘secret of happiness’, or to perhaps lessen their pain, suffering, and depression-nihilism in life. So the seeking of knowledge and wisdom is in order to lessen pain/suffering/stress/anxiety/existential-dread, and in order to INCREASE joy, happiness, levity, and optimism-hope in life.

Thus the formula many follow is:

More knowledge/wisdom->More happiness/joy

But once you’ve maxed out your personal happiness and joy in life– then what?

The end is infinite power?


My thought is this:

When we augment our knowledge and wisdom, we feel more powerful. Why? When we augment our knowledge and wisdom, we somehow feel superior to other “basic” human beings. We feel as if we have hidden and secret powerful knowledge which makes us superior to others.

Thus, knowledge and wisdom augmentation makes us feel superior.

Superior to who? Other humans.

Therefore, perhaps knowledge and wisdom is a means or a way to feel superior compared to others in society.

Why feel superior to other humans?

To me this is where things get interesting:

What is the point or purpose to “feeling” superior to other humans? Is there any real practical payoff, or utility to this feeling?

To become less afraid of reality?

Streettogs old man street photography

First thought:

Perhaps we want LESS fear from reality?

Second thought:

Perhaps we want to feel as if we can transcend ourselves via knowledge and wisdom?

Third thought:

Perhaps we are afraid of death, or the life beyond (“life after death”?)

What SHOULD knowledge and wisdom be for?

I wonder — perhaps knowledge and wisdom is more useful if we optimize it for ourselves. Toward our own physiological health, strengthening, and over-powering.

Thus perhaps knowledge and wisdom is only useful insofar much as it

  1. Makes us more courageous, audacious, and brave in everyday life
  2. Makes us more hopeful, joyful, and confident in life
  3. Gives us more hope and optimism toward the future


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