Friday, October 23, 2015

Information is Not Knowledge, and Knowledge is Not Wisdom

Information is not knowledge, and knowledge is not wisdom.
--Russell Kirk

This is a very striking quote; it is striking in its profound truth. Many people today are misinformed, and at the heart of their misinformation lies the staunch belief that they are, in fact, very informed indeed, thank you very much, and that their “information” is actually knowledge. And most of these persons will not accept that they are misinformed; they have a kind of closed-minded obstinacy, bred from years of studying just to take another few tests, from learning only the facts needed to get through life with success--and success means having a high-paying job.

  I am certain that Mr. Gradgrind from Hard Times would be simply chuffed at the state of the American educational system; one can picture him beaming (if such a sour personage can even be imagined to beam) and rubbing his hands as he earnestly exhorts all the young to learn facts, and only facts. There is no room for stories, no room for fairy tales.

  There is no room for stories, fairy tales, epic adventures of heroes such as Beowulf, etc., because they encourage intellectual individualism (e.g., knowledge). There is absolutely no room for that sort of nonsense in the ultra-diverse times we live in; good heavens, if we had a few young people standing up for virtue and heroism there might be some kind of terrifying revolution! People who think differently, including and especially the young, are a threat to the dull sameness of society. The conservative way of thinking is a detrimental factor to the formation of modern America.

  As has been observed by many, misinformation, starting in schools nationwide and continuing throughout life, is one of the main reasons America is the way it is. Classic works of literature need to make a comeback; logic must be taught to enable people to understand the fallacies of the world; and above all, we must make the important distinction between information, knowledge, and wisdom as three very separate (but also closely related) ideas.

Maura Tuffy

No comments:

Post a Comment