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If I say, “I know it”, then I don’t know it

A situation I face too often (for my taste) when presenting a new topic or a new idea to a group of students (whether young or adult) is the reaction "I already know that", followed by the mention of some kind of "source", mostly a movie, where a topic remotely related to the new idea previously presented is mentioned.

In other words, the students or participants mistakenly assume they already know something simply because at some point they heard, read, or saw something similar somewhere else, although that similarity is minimal and although they never seriously studied the subject.

Such mental closure, such refusal to open up to a new idea, a new concept, a new connection with the universe, is generally justified by saying "They already explained it in the movie ...", or "In a television program they talked about it ", or, even worse," I saw a post on this topic on social networks".

On the basis of that previous "knowledge", which in reality is not knowledge at all, the "student" ceases to be such, he deceives himself by making himself believe that he already knows something he doesn't know, and because of that, the student minimizes what he/she is hearing as something already known and, in fact, so well-known that you shouldn't pay any attention to it.

That confusion between having a very vague idea of ​​a subject and believing you are an expert on that subject is so great that it robs the "student" of the humility necessary to learn, since the one who say "I know" does not know or learn. Without humility, the "student" places himself as the judge of all knowledge, considering himself with the ability to make that value judgment.

In the vast majority of cases, little can be done to invite the person who "already knows everything" to open up to new possibilities of knowledge. In some exceptional cases, however, new ideas produce such cognitive dissonance that they force the person to at least review their ideas and opinions and, sometimes, even confess "I don't know".

At that moment, when we get off the epistemological and epistemological throne where we have placed ourselves, a new world opens up before us, a world where we may no longer be the "center" because ideas such as "center" and "control" no longer apply. But, to be honest, that level of intellectual and personal maturity is infrequent.

Most commonly, people mention a "celebrity" or even a certain medium or platform ("I saw it on television", "I read it on the Internet") as an indication that all the necessary knowledge on the subject has already been acquired and, therefore, there is no longer any need to think or talk about that issue. The bidirectional conversation and the learning process stop right there.

As a result, we lock ourselves into whatever little we know without ever seeing "the truly new in the truly old" (citing Lloyd Dickie) and without reaching the level of generative and creative empathy.

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