Have you ever encountered an individual so well versed in myriad topics such that whether discussing history, humanities, international relations or economics, psychology, finance, they seem well acquainted; able to discourse at length on any subject matter and summarize complex ideas with ease, garnering frequent nods of accord from listeners? In conclusion, a person of remarkable erudition and intellect, and opening one’s mouth to impart knowledge shall prove a prevailing trend in the next three to five years.
At first glance, the reservoirs of knowledge possessed by these individuals appear vastly superior to those around them, yet upon deeper familiarization one discovers they lack substance. Those claiming omniscience are in fact impoverished souls who have become ensnared in the “trap of loquacious learning.”
The loquaciously learned poor oft manifest in several guises. First is the type consumed internally. I recall a tale from a periodical telling of a party lost in the desert who, after an arduous journey, spied an oasis in the distance. Yet drawing near, they perceived it a mirage. The same scene repeating twice, all debated whether to press on to the next. Only one mildly feeble-minded fellow, perceiving each oasis, rushed forth without hesitation. Though mocked for failing to discern illusion, his perseverance led him alone to the authentic oasis as his wiser counterparts, mired in repeated introspection, remained lost to the wasteland.
As Luo Zhenyu noted in “Luo Ji’s Reflections,” “that which we know risks consumption of our being more so than the unknown, for it breeds hesitation and plunges one into anxious self-doubt.” The path to Rome lies beneath your feet, not in truths heard.
In 1821, the French scientist Arago guided his pupil Fresnel in demonstrating light a transverse wave through polarization experiments. Well-versed in optics through extensive study, Arago knew the academic orthodoxy upheld light particulate. He fretted results upsetting status quo could doom him professionally should proving faulty. Yet Fresnel, untutored in scholarly politicking, sought solely to disclose findings.
Arago repeated experiments, gaining certainty though insomnia plagued nights. Publishing secured despite entreaty to withdraw name day prior, half-month later the proved theory of light as wave not particle caused sensation and founded modern optics. Overnight renowned, Fresnel; Arago, his tutor, lived in remorse.
In this world, too many dissatisfied beings languish not from dearth of learning but surplus, mired in worries ere striving prevents ever reaching destination.
The second type procrastinates. Upon industry entry, colleague Xiao Gong oft counselled fuel vehicles’ share inevitably declining, advising cultivate skills in new energies or side businesses lest wanting future competitiveness. Years passed as skills in writing grew, finally switching fields before large layoffs; meeting Xiao by happenstance, thanking advice though curious development. Alas, stationary as before in initial company, Xiao exemplifies the loquaciously learned – envision each path yet follow only well-trodden.
Cognition guides yet achievement relies on action’s power. The Soviet scientist Lyubishev published over seventy tomes; when asked his prodigious output, a short phrase sufficed: “Never delay.”
Across a prolific fifty-six year career, Liu Bischeff upheld a singular principle: upon thinking task, immediately press the pocketwatch button. Its ticking lent urgency, time fleeing desperate; this sense of exigency saw Lyubishev actualize each notion regardless outcome, proving through works’ abundance surmounting inceptions’ difficulties with action’s taking.
The third presents as the “particle of knowing” – as Wang Shuo profoundly stated, “some knowing more appear but best deemed ‘informed elements’ never intellectuals.”
Mere fragmentation’s accumulation seems augment knowledge yet precludes growth. Sole by internalizing learning’s foundation can one bridge “knowing” and “doing.”
Duan Yongping confessed no complete reading since graduation. A self-professed hundred-book-annual netizen critiqued: “entrepreneurs shunning books forecast to ultimately fail, however today successful.” Yet named outstanding leader by Asia Weekly and listed among richest worldwide, Duan purposefully acquires pertinent knowledge from reports, speeches and exchanges to augment lacking areas, theories and methods always serving enterprise and investment, not extensive knowing pursued.
As recalled from “Cognition Breakthrough”: “It is cognition enabling life’s transcendence; all else redundant information.” In an age where knowledge borders vanish, more vital than what known is what should be known. Blind information absorption risks trapping in a cocoon of loquacious learning while screening and internalizing usable parts updates thinking and cultivates methodology, each cognitive increase a step sending one higher.