# The Circle of Knowledge

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Some years ago, a friend gave me a lesson I’ll never forget. He drew a circle on a piece of paper and said,

*“The area within this circle represents all the knowledge you possess.*

*The area outside the circle is the unknown.”*

Then he pointed to its round circumference and said,

*“The edge of the circle--its circumference--represents the boundary between what you know and what you don’t know. The length of that boundary represents the amount of uncertainty in your life.”*

Then he drew a larger circle around the circle and said,

*“When you learn more, your circle of knowledge gets larger. But so does its circumference. Meaning, the more knowledge you gain in life, the more uncertainty you'll have.”*

Then he said,

*“But there's a caution.*

*If the shape of your knowledge isn’t round--if your knowledge isn't 'well-rounded'--then the length of the line--your uncertainty--will grow faster than your increase in knowledge. Therefore, the way to minimize the amount of uncertainty in your life compared to your knowledge is to have 'well-rounded' knowledge.”*

Out of all the flat shapes in the known universe, a circle has the greatest area for its given circumference. Any other shape has a greater amount of circumference relative to its area.

**There's more**

Because my friend isn't an engineer, he didn't point out another property of circles. The following is a series of equations followed by summary statement, which I'll explain.

The calculations above show that the area of a circle (*knowledge*) grows faster than its circumference (*uncertainty*). In the example above, when the area of a circle is doubled, its circumference increases by a ratio of 5.013 / 3.545 = 1.414, which is far less than 2.

This means that as you learn at a certain rate, the uncertainty in your life increases also, but by a *slower *rate. As you learn, you keep getting further ahead of your uncertainty!

Now, isn't that nice!