Max Planck, after he won the Nobel Prize of Physics in 1918, went around Germany giving a same standard lecture on the new *Quantum Mechanics*.
Over time, his chauffeur memorized the lecture and said, “Would you mind, Professor Planck, because it’s so boring to stay in our routine, if I gave the lecture in Munich and you just sat in front wearing my chauffeur’s hat?”
Planck said, “Why not?” And the chauffeur got up and gave this long lecture on quantum mechanics.
After which a physics professor stood up and asked a perfectly ghastly question.
The speaker said, “Well, I’m surprised that in an advanced city like Munich I get such an elementary question. I’m going to ask my chauffeur to reply.
The reason for this story is not to celebrate the quick wittedness of the Chauffeur but to understand that, In this world, there are two kinds of people with knowledge:
One is Planck knowledge, that of the people who really know. They’ve gone through the grind and they have the aptitude and
Then we’ve got chauffeur knowledge.
They have learned to prattle the talk. They often have fine timbre in their voices. They make a big impression. But in the end what they’ve got is chauffeur knowledge masquerading as real knowledge.
In the real world, it is critical to distinguish when someone is “Max Planck,” and when he’s just the “Chauffeur.”
Building Planck knowledge takes deep commitment and large amount of time and effort. Chauffeur knowledge comes from people who have learned to put on a show. Their talks sound impressive and entertaining, they have good voice and may even ooze great charisma but their knowledge is not their own.
In fact, the more eloquent and articulate someone sounds the higher the odds of him having chauffeur knowledge.
Richard Feynman, a celebrated scientist and the winner of Nobel prize in Theoretical Physics, beautifully describes it as “the difference between knowing the name of something (chauffeur knowledge) and knowing something (Planck knowledge).”
This too shall pass,
Avoid those with Chauffeur knowledge & follow “Max Planck” and stay blessed forever.