April 29, 2022

Signal vs. Noise – Wisdom vs. Knowledge [Ep. 119]

Signal vs. Noise – Wisdom vs. Knowledge [Ep. 119]

A signal can be defined as something that conveys a warning or spurs action, and noise may be defined as a sound or message that interferes with one’s hearing. With so many voices clamoring for attention, how can we sift through the noise to hear...


A signal can be defined as something that conveys a warning or spurs action, and noise may be defined as a sound or message that interferes with one’s hearing. With so many voices clamoring for attention, how can we sift through the noise to hear – and heed – the signal? How can we discern what is true? Once we gain knowledge to understand the signal, how can we wisely respond? To help make sense of all that is happening in our nation and around the world, Linda suggests three simple steps to increase knowledge and wisdom, which will help guide decisions and actions. The suggestions are applicable for employers, employees, students, or parents, and are simple enough to share with others.  

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Transcript

Linda J. Hansen: Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host, and the author of Prosperity 101 - Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics online course. The book, the course, and the entire podcast library can be found on prosperity101.com.

I seek to connect boardroom to breakroom, and policy to paycheck, by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement, and retention, and to an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests, and be sure to visit prosperity101.com.

Thank you so much for tuning in today. You have many options when it comes to podcasts or other media choices, and I truly appreciate the fact that you have chosen to listen to this podcast. I hope it will be a blessing to you. I regularly feature a variety of guests to discuss some of the many different issues we currently face in our nation. Whether I interview a guest or share a solo episode, my goal is to help people connect the dots between policy and paycheck, and to increase understanding of how government policies affect their daily lives. I seek to help people have greater awareness of current events, and to learn how they may become actively engaged citizens in support of their own freedom and prosperity. Whether you are an employer looking for ways to educate employees about such issues, an employee seeking to learn, a student or parent, each episode is created with the goal of helping you to become informed, involved, and impactful.

This episode is entitled Signal versus Noise, Wisdom versus Knowledge. There is so much noise in the media and social media and in our culture in general. There are a plethora of voices offering opinions on a variety of agendas, both just and unjust. It is often difficult to discern between truth and lies, facts and fallacies. The average person is busy working, caring for family, and just trying to keep things moving forward day-to-day. Most people feel they do not have time to sift through pages of proposed legislation, attend committee hearings on a regular basis, or read stacks of books and articles to discover what is true. It is often hard to know who to trust because it all seems so confusing, especially in an era of cancel culture and double speak. How do we sift through what is truly signal and what is noise?

A signal can be defined as something that conveys a warning or spurs an action, and noise could be defined as a sound or message that interferes with one's hearing. With so many voices clamoring for attention, how can we discern what is true? How can we weed out the noise to hear and heed the signal? And once we understand the signal, what should we do as a result?

A first step to understanding all of this is to consider the difference between wisdom and knowledge. Many people have great knowledge, but lack wisdom. We all know people who may have multiple degrees and accomplishments, but who are unwise. It is likely we also know someone who may have little formal education, but there are wise in life and in an understanding of people and the times in which we are living.

I once had it explained to me very simply: knowledge is knowing, wisdom is the understanding of what to do with the knowledge. I think of wisdom as the ability to discern between good and evil, right and wrong, truth and lies. Wisdom, like knowledge, should always be increasing, so we will have the discernment to know how to evaluate and respond to various messages and opportunities.

Most people feel that our world has gone crazy. The current culture in America is in a state of chaos, with many voices and ideologies clamoring for attention and acceptance. The media narratives scream at us literally and figuratively, and would like us to believe that right is wrong, wrong is right, up is down, and if we don't agree, we are narrow-minded and prejudiced. The pressure to go along to get along is strong, and can truly be intimidating at times.

As you seek to make sense of all that is happening in our nation and around the world, I'd like to suggest three steps you can take to increase your knowledge and your wisdom. These suggestions are applicable whether you are an employer, employee, student, parent, or grandparent, and they are simple enough to share with your employees, family, and friends.

They may seem simple, but often, we do not take time to think simply, especially in an age when we are all digesting voluminous amounts of information each day, and things seem complicated with the pace of information flow seeming to increase exponentially as we speak. Again, these suggestions are simple, but they encourage us to pause and think before reacting to news and information. They are simple steps to help us distinguish between signal and noise, and wisdom versus knowledge.

Step one, become a lifelong learner and seek to gain knowledge by seeking out primary source information. So much of the noise in media is someone's opinion of someone's opinion of someone's opinion. Don't fall for that. Don't be fooled. Seek to obtain information that goes deeper than headlines, political talking points, or pundit pontifications. The age of information can work to our favor, for it is truly not as time consuming or difficult as it may seem to have access to primary source information on the hot topics and controversial issues we face today. Of course, we cannot all become journalists to follow every lead in every story, but we can become discerning about the information we choose to take into our minds, and we can crosscheck sources and learn from a variety of publications or experts. I'm not suggesting we only listen to those who agree with us. That would be counterproductive. I am suggesting we don't just accept things because some people say we should. We should think through each issue carefully and seek truth.

Step two, ask yourself, "Does this even make sense? What is the likely outcome of this proposal, directive, or law? What will be the short and long-term benefits or negative effects? Does this statement or proposal align with what I know to be true? What is the motive of the person or persons promoting the idea or proposal? Have they always held this narrative, or have they changed their view? If they changed, why did they change? Have they contradicted themselves? If so, have they done so in the past? What might be motivating them to change their narrative? Is money involved? From where and to whom does the money flow? Who will benefit the most? Who may be potentially hurt or victimized? Do media narratives actually match the facts? Has this been tried before in the history of our country? What about in other countries? If yes, what are the results?" These are just a few examples of the types of questions you can ask as you seek to gain knowledge.

Step three, once knowledge is gained, it is important to seek wisdom in how to apply the knowledge to your life. We all have choices in how we seek wisdom. I personally believe it is important to choose to seek wisdom from God. One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 2:6, "For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Another of my favorite verses is James 1:5, which states, "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault. And it will be given to you."

Why do I choose to seek wisdom from God, and not presume that I can be wise all on my own? Well, for me, it seems incomprehensible to presume the world just created itself, and that there is not a higher power that assures the sun rises and sets each day; that the universe has such precision and the planets remain in alignment, that flowers bloom in the spring and snow falls in the winter, and that human life and the human body is created with such incredible detail and creativity. I do not take a single breath for granted, for I know that I had no control over my first breath, nor will I truly have control over my last breath. I could speak endlessly about the wonders of God and the overwhelming joy of his presence in my life. I encourage you to seek Him, and experience His love, joy, wisdom, and peace for yourself.

But even if you may choose to disagree with me spiritually, and thankfully, you are free to do that in America, I encourage you to think through these simple steps the next time media overload confuses you and causes you to wonder, "What is signal, what is noise, and what is true?" I hope you will teach others to do the same. If we all focus on learning how to seek truth, by gaining knowledge and applying wisdom, America and our world will be in a better position to protect freedom and prosperity now and in the future.

Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit prosperity101.com to access the entire podcast library, to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course.You can also receive the free ebook, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks.

Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. I give special thanks to our sponsors, Matthews Archery, Inc., and Wisconsin Stamping & Manufacturing. Please contact us today at prosperity101.com to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.