AN­OTHER VOICE mur­ray swart There are no stupid ques­tions

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

CON­TRARY to pop­u­lar be­lief, there is noth­ing wrong with be­ing ig­no­rant. We have all found our­selves in the sce­nario where we see lips move and hear the words push­ing past them but de­ci­pher­ing any sort of mean­ing or sense from them is be­yond us.

How­ever, out of fear of ridicule, we make no at­tempt to broaden our hori­zons by ask­ing ques­tions. In­stead, we ig­nore the ele­phant in the room, smile and nod along, know­ingly.

Never be­fore has in­for­ma­tion been so read­ily avail­able yet so dis­re­garded. In a world where ev­ery­body is equally spe­cial, it is easy to ig­nore the facts to pre­serve the opin­ion as we as­so­ci­ate be­ing un­in­formed as be­ing wrong and be­ing wrong as be­ing weak.

There is no shame in ac­knowl­edg­ing your own lim­i­ta­tions, be they men­tal, phys­i­cal, spir­i­tual or dig­i­tal.

The truth is, a know-it-all is as un­likely to learn as some­one who craves learn­ing is likely to know it all.

In the age of tech­nol­ogy, knowl­edge is but a click away and ev­ery­one has a clicker in their pocket.

Mil­lions of years of evo­lu­tion has brought us to this mo­ment in time, when the bulk of our com­bined knowl­edge has been neatly cat­a­logued and handed to us on a sil­ver plat­ter.

Yet, with this un­prece­dented ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion, where we are able to learn ev­ery­thing and any­thing we could pos­si­bly dream of, we don’t fo­cus on the greater good of hu­mankind. In­stead, we fo­cus on Keep­ing up with the Kar­dashi­ans.

It’s very dif­fi­cult to imag­ine a world with­out the in­ter­net. The world wide web is an amaz­ing tool that in­forms, ed­u­cates and en­ter­tains us. A place where all the an­swers are but a Google search away.

Ev­ery note from ev­ery lec­ture, of­fered by the most pres­ti­gious in­sti­tutes of learn­ing, is freely and read­ily avail­able.

There is no need to de­mand a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion. Its right there, pre­sented in ones and ze­ros.

Cries for fees to fall are war­ranted but it is not the cost of academia that is ex­or­bi­tant. It’s the cost of the piece of pa­per you get af­ter fill­ing your head with facts and fig­ures that might make you feel and sound knowl­edge­able but are largely ir­rel­e­vant in the greater scheme of things.

Don’t get me wrong. For­mal ed­u­ca­tion has its place but if you are taught to pre­tend to know ev­ery­thing rather than to as­pire to learn ev­ery­thing, you are miss­ing the point.

There are few more sure fire ways to ruin a good mind than a good ed­u­ca­tion.

All the qual­i­fi­ca­tions in the world mean noth­ing if they are not prac­ti­cally ap­plied, yet we view con­sid­ered these pieces of parch­ment to be worth more than their weight in gold.

Knowl­edge is power. It can make or break you. Claim­ing to know more than you do is to your own detri­ment, es­pe­cially in a world where all the an­swers are read­ily avail­able.

How­ever, this is use­less if we don’t take ad­van­tage of our com­plete, com­bined and cat­a­logued col­lec­tion of in­for­ma­tion.

Next time, be­fore guess­ing, try Googling. The truth is out there and it prob­a­bly isn’t what you have been lead to be­lieve.

There are no stupid ques­tions. Only stupid an­swers. There is no shame in be­ing ig­no­rant but there is no ex­cuse for stay­ing that way by choice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.