I never fail to be amazed by the vast amount of information available on the internet and all the things I can learn from it. If only I can remember all the facts in there. But that's no problem. Whatever I need to know I could still recall how I found it last and I just go for the same method of searching for it. But if there are important facts relating to my line of work, I make it a point to remember those particular facts. Still, with all the information available, there are lots of people, even though their jobs require them to have at least the basic knowledge of certain facts, don't make an effort to know them. This explains why the Great Guys always say, "Knowledge is power". Now all that power is available 24/7. All you need to do is click at it with the mouse, or type in the key words.
Here's an example of how knowledge can put you one up over others: One of our customers complained to our Quality Dept about a burnt out fuel pump from one of their cars. Quality engineer came to me and asked how to explain to the customer why this thing can happen. He begged me to go along to a meeting with the customer and help him. His argument was, since I'm the guy who produces the gadget, I'm partly responsible. (Actually our production unit just gets the assembled pump and attaches it to a flange and connects the pipes and cables.) So I found myself tagging along to the customer's plant and ushered into their meeting room. Several of their engineers were already there waiting for us, eager to fire us with questions. Someone shoved the troublesome pump in my direction.
There was a plastic section on the pump which houses the connecting terminals into which the power supply to the pump was connected. There was a huge burnt-out hollow in the plastic housing. I took out my magnifying eye-piece and peered at it. I must have made myself appear like an expert with that gesture. I said this is the first time I've seen this happen. Someone then said it looks so dangerous and asked what happens if the whole tank explodes? I asked if anybody has seen or heard of a car's fuel tank exploding. Nobody said anything. I proceeded to explain that a tank won't explode even if there's a huge spark in it. There's not enough oxygen in the tank to support it. Those things that go BOOM only happen in the movies. They need that for the dramatic effect. In real life you need the right combination of fuel/air ratio and compression for an explosion to happen. In an engine you need a fuel/air ratio of 1:14.7, a compression and a spark to create that explosion.
Everybody looked at me and forgot to close their mouths. But I was no expert. I grinned behind my hands because I only learned about that fact from the internet the previous day. I anticipated that question because that was the first thing that came to my mind whenever people talk about a spark or a fire sharing space with petrol or any flammable liquid. Any loose connection can create a spark. If such things can explode, every one of us is sitting on a bomb everyday of our lives. The fuel tank is just under the back seat of the car. And both the fuel gauge (that tells us how much fuel we have in the tank) and the fuel pump need power supply to keep them working.
For the rest of the meeting I closed my mouth and let the quality engineer handle the boring stuff like writing the minutes and setting deadlines while I twiddled my thumbs and tried to figure out how the frigging thing could burn out that hole.