Share the Knowledge

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3 main motivations of why people share knowledge:

1. Altruism.

Here’s a study of wikipedians stating that altruism and fact-checking are the main motivations of contributors. About 73% indicated “I like the idea of sharing knowledge and want to contribute to it”

Only 13% of Wikipedia Contributors Are Women, Study Says
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2. Expertise show off (selfish motivation).

No surveys can catch it as people wouldn’t confess to this. So I can’t list proofs for this.

3. Sense of (identification with) a community.

Here’s another study of wikipedians saying that sense of community is the main motivation:


Evolutionary and biological explanation of why people share knowledge is done nicely by Yuval Harari in Sapiens book:

Sharing knowledge is sapiens’ essence, it’s not only a way of successfully surviving but also ruling the world.

‘Of all animal species only Sapiens has language that allows it to ingest, store and communicate a prodigious amount of information (about the surrounding world and things that do not exist in that world).’ P. 32 Yuval Harari Sapiens.

This allows us to plan and carry out more complex actions and cooperate extremely flexibly with countless number of strangers. Which in turn allows us to rule the world. P. 35.

Biology: serotonin?

‘People are made happy by one thing and one thing only – pleasant sensation in their bodies. A person who just won the lottery or found new love and jumps from joy is not really reacting to the money or the lover. She is reacting to various hormones coursing through her bloodstream, and to the storm of electric signals ashing between different parts of her brain. Happiness and misery play a role in evolution only to the extent that they encourage or discourage survival and reproduction.’

Serotonin in our brains probably kicks in following the logic below. Obtaining knowledge increases our survival chances. Sharing knowledge brings value to members of your tribe and increases your personal value as a part of this tribe thus increasing your personal survival chances and chances of your tribe survival. Lots of fun.


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