knowledge is power – on three levels

thinker by rodinknowledge is power. it is a time-honored adage understood more so by the wise than the foolish. but the power that knowledge possesses exists on three levels of increasing potency.

  1. accumulation of knowledge. the fastest way to increase power is to accumulate knowledge. the more you know, the more you grow, both in ability and in credibility. those who commit their lives to learning are better prepared for life’s challenges, respond better in crises, and over time, are looked to and admired for their advice and accomplishments. knowledge can be used for good or evil. this accumulation of knowledge is the primary level of power.
  2. transmission of knowledge (or, who you tell). the power that knowledge offers can be used to build up or tear down. thus, what one does with the knowledge one accumulates says much about a person. the application and utilization of accumulated knowledge is the second level of power. those who dedicate their lives to instruction and education choose the noble path. this dissemination of knowledge offers power and prestige to the instructor, which results from the appreciation of students and disciples for their education. this is the noble transmission of knowledge. education’s opposite, yet powerful relative is gossip, which is the transmission of knowledge intended to tear down, whether this detrimental act is intended or not. gossip is the irresponsible dissemination of knowledge. it is performed in secret, because the one gossiping understands that the power exercised in transmitting knowledge via gossip is unbecoming and destructive. everyone likes to know something, but the power that obtained knowledge possesses cannot be shown off to others unless it is transmitted. therefore, instruction is the power exercised by the public communication of worthwhile knowledge, while gossip is the power exercised ultimately to harm another. instruction and gossip are therefore polar opposites, both transmitting knowledge, both exercising power, but for completely opposite purposes.
  3. preservation of knowledge (or, who you don’t tell). the highest level of the power of knowledge rests in the preservation of knowledge. the preservation of knowledge can take the form of books written by knowledgeable and respected authors, or confidences, which are nothing more than the exercise of restraint of power by one keeping a secret. the keepers of libraries and those that control access to information are preservers of knowledge. however, one who can maintain a confidence, preserve a secret, or refrain from communicating priviledged information is the most powerful of all. it is for this reason that the greatest bits of information are often preserved as mysteries and the most important caches of accumulated wisdom throughout the ages are held by those responsible enough to disseminate this collected knowledge only to those of good character and tested heart. a trusted confidant is both valued and rare because the power of confidence is difficult to obtain. far too often it falls prey to the less disciplined practice of gossip. still, the one who can disseminate information publicly and properly, while keeping privy information in confidence is the most powerful person of all.

model wins right to sue anonymous blogger who maligned her

Model Liskula Cohen was defamed online by an anonymous blogger. She recently won the right to force Google to reveal the identity of the blogger that had been criticizing her online.

Model Liskula Cohen was defamed online by an anonymous blogger. She recently won the right to force Google to reveal the identity of the blogger that had been criticizing her online.

now here’s something that i’ve been following very quietly for a while:

In a case with potentially far-reaching repercussions, Liskula Cohen sought the identity of the blogger who maligned her on the Skanks in NYC blog so that she could sue him or her for defamation.

A Manhattan supreme court judge ruled that she was entitled to the information and ordered Google, which ran the offending blog, to turn it over.

as many of you know, i and other dead sea scrolls scholars have been the target of a well-organized, well-timed, two-year long smear campaign perpetrated by raphael golb, son of university of chicago oriental institute ludwig rosenberger professor of jewish history and civilization, dr. norman golb. the campaign centered around a series of over 80 aliases used by raphael golb to malign many scholars that study the scrolls and disagree with norman golb. i chronicled the campaign in detail before turning my findings over to the new york county district attorney’s office. on march 5, 2009, the manhattan da’s office executed a search warrant for golb’s residence and he was arrested,

on charges of identity theft, criminal impersonation and aggravated harassment. The crimes in the Criminal Court Complaint occurred during the period of July to December of 2008.

you can follow the criminal proceedings against golb on the new york state unified courts system ecourts website.

golb’s attorney insists this is a ‘first amendment case.’

we, the targets of this campaign, are awaiting the conclusion of the criminal case against golb. this manhattan supreme court ruling may come into play during the criminal investigation because golb used multiple aliases to set up several blogs in order to criticize his father’s perceived rivals anonymously. this ruling may assist the manhattan da’s office, who are coincidentally the same ones prosecuting golb, in ordering several online forums like blogs and crowd powered news sites to turn over the identities of aliases who use the services to defame others openly.

and while this ruling may assist in the criminal case, i’m betting it will do far more for the civil cases that are patiently awaiting the resolution of the criminal case against norman golb’s son, raphael, any who informed and collaborated with him, and their employers.

== update ==

now, the *woman* who was trashing cohen is upset that google outed her. probably because she’s about to get sued for defamation.

maureen dowd: “Stung by the Perfect Sting

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