The Curse of Knowledge

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TheCurse of Knowledge

TheCurse of Knowledge Article Essay

Theinability to put oneself in someone else`s shoes hinders effectivecommunication which leads to frustrations on both the readers andinstructors.

Insome occasions, we may have a burning message that we may want toshare at one point with fellow colleagues or friends. However, theprimary challenge is that when we learn something new and different,we may find it difficult to explain the message to others in a mannerthat they may resonate or care about. Based on the article &quotthesource of bad writing,&quot Steve Pinker begins the article byclearly explaining why most people are poor in writing in whichfocuses on individuals holding professional jobs and in the academicenvironment. He seeks to assess the thought of the disengagement thatexists between the readers or students, and the author orinstructors. In most instances, he refers to this notion as the curseof knowledge. He further expounds to the audience that the curse ofknowledge is presumed to be the most difficulty experienced whensomeone else has no idea or clue as to what you know (Pinker, 2014).As a personal example, I had a neighbor who would play the piano sowell that when people needed help, he would always be ready andwilling to teach the notes to one or two. In each session, histrainees could not identify with the notes leading to frustrationsboth on his part and colleagues.

Hethen narrates of how at one point he went to the website, andbecause the site used lots of jargons, he found it hard to understandthe terms (Pinker, 2014). His articles serve as a justification whenreaders or students come across journals, articles or books that seemtoo difficult to apprehend.

Whenwe have something important to share, we always seek to introducesomeone to the new idea. In such an instance, we need to establish away to explain the concept in a simple and understandable languagejust one sentence may be as equally important and readily understood.An instance is when we proceeded to sixth grade, and the math teacherbrought with him a math question in factors and multiples (a newtopic), that was to be attempted by the students. Being a new topic,every student`s attempt to the question was a fail, however, in theend the teacher provided assistance to the satisfaction of thestudents.

Tobe precise, in most cases, the fundamental reason as to why specificjournals, books, or articles are not pleasing to read does notnecessarily lie on the fault of the authors. In many cases, writerschose to write on subjects that are in line with their field ofspecialization. They assume that the reader of such articles will befamiliar with the jargon that is associated with the profession,which is not always the case (Pinker, 2014). Curiosity drives peopleto read materials just for the purpose of gaining awareness and notfor academic reasons. To ensure that the message is passed to allindividuals, the writer can use easily understandable terms toreplace the lengthy explanations. This will save the writer`s timehowever, the writer normally does this when the subject area isintended for particular listeners, e.g. professional individuals whoare specialized in similar fields.

Asin the case of “the source of bad writing,” it can be seen thatPinker tends to direct his writing for an article in an onlinenewspaper. His terminology seems to be clear and fathomable by evensomeone with only a secondary school reading level. His sentenceshave also been kept since the article would resonate with an onlineaudience. However, in the article about the curse of knowledge, hislanguage is more modified and appears to be longer, as such, iseasily understandable by someone on a college level. Basically,Pinker alterations are meant to be rhetorical plans to communicate tohis audience in a manner that they will be able to relate to andapprehend his subject matter in the simplest way possible. Likewise,he tends to consider his target audience thought processes as theyread his pieces.


Pinker,S. (2014). The curse of knowledge. TheSense of Style, Viking, New York, NY,57-76.

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