“Whats the difference between knowing and understanding?” It’s like the difference between precision and accuracy.

“Whats the difference between knowing and understanding?”

Similar to the difference between “accuracy” and “precision”, to provide an analogy.

Understanding is accurate. But it is not always precise. precision_accuracy
Knowledge is precise. But it is not always accurate.

You can know something and not understand it.

Can you understand something and not know it? Yes. Example: My ne was 5 when I taught him about gravity. Does he know gravity? Well, he knows the word but doesn’t know the math or lots of things about it. But does he understand it? Yeah. Understanding is a level beyond just confidence in knowledge. There’s really not much emotional content to understanding: Understanding something means it’s part of an effortless machine (to use another analogy) rather than knowledge, which can require effort because it’s “mapped upon” understanding ideally… and non-ideally, knowledge can be mapped upon a repeating mechanism: parroting without understanding.

This is how I see it. Maybe it’s too broad.

I place understanding as “High accuracy, low precision”. It’s also what I strive for. I don’t strive for precision (unless I need to convey understanding to someone else) because it has a strong potential to be wrong. [high precision, low accuracy].


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