Knowledge Is Power: True or False?

There is a statement that I lived by growing up: Knowledge is power . I still think about this today. However, I sometimes wonder if this is even true anymore; or if it is, does it apply in a totally different way or have a totally different meaning compared to years gone by?

I think if there is someone who can teach you something that no one else can — and you can't find the information anywhere else — then that teacher has a great power. He or she possesses something that no one else has. People will always go to that person for advice and a piece of knowledge. Typically, those who possessed a certain level of knowledge or performed a special skill were highly respected. They were looked up to and many people trusted and relied on them and learned from them.

However, I am not sure if our society (or world for that matter) has that one person (at work or in personal lives) who we consider the possessor of high knowledge. There doesn't seem to be that one person that we go to in order to learn or gain from. It seems knowledge does not really lead to power anymore, but just helps you get what you need done at that particular point in time. What does “power” really mean? Does it mean one who leads many others in a certain field? Is it a piece of information? Or is it much simpler? Does having knowledge just mean we have an ability to use what we know to finish a certain design or project?

With today's technology and with just about every piece of information at our fingertips with Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, and many other sources, we can learn pretty much whatever we need. Everyone is at an almost equal advantage in their ability to access information and to learn. So does anyone ever have any power over another with the knowledge they possess?

I think that way back in the day, we considered that many individuals had great power with the knowledge they had. But I think today, great knowledge comes from teams and design groups and communities. These groups can improve each other's strengths and weaknesses, learn from each other, and gain more power as a group. This is the “two heads are better than one” approach to engineering and knowledge gathering.

So I guess if “knowledge is power,” then what is power and what does this power do for us or help us gain?

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