Partial knowledge is dangerous than ignorance

Afsalms
2 min readDec 7, 2023
source: https://quotefancy.com/quote/1306894/Thomas-Babington-Macaulay-Half-knowledge-is-worse-than-ignorance

As we all know, ignorance can lead to problems, but partial knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance itself. Let me explain this with an example.

The term ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) first came to my attention during my school days when a friend mentioned it. He had learned about it from a salesman at a showroom when they purchased a new car. The basic idea conveyed was that with ABS, one could press the brake pedal forcefully, allowing the vehicle to stop quickly without skidding.

However, this understanding only scratches the surface. Recently, I delved deeper into ABS and its workings. Contrary to the initial belief, slamming on the brakes too hard can trigger the ABS quickly, actually increasing our stopping distance. The ABS operates by rapidly releasing and reapplying the brakes when a wheel is about to lock, preventing skidding.

While ABS indeed helps prevent skidding, it’s essential not to trigger it recklessly for quick stops. If we have no knowledge about ABS or its proper functioning, we tend to apply the brakes on time. On the other hand, with partial knowledge, we may wait until the last moment, triggering the ABS and inadvertently increasing the stopping distance, which can lead to trouble.

Likewise, there are many examples like this. If we have pain on the left side of the chest, we may consider it a heart-related issue. Knowledge about star ratings on cars and safety, etc., provides numerous everyday examples for this. We cannot become experts in everything, but what we can do is ask experts when we are not sure about critical things.

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