April 18, 2005

The Value of Knowledge

So its been a while, but the procrastination has finally come back to bite me in the ass. Exam time= crunch time with a side of stress and sleepless nights. Just want to give a few shout outs to my best friends Starbucks and Redbull who helped me get through this… I couldn’t have done it without you.

As I sat outside today in front of my residence (Pitman Hall) studying for my final exam, (yes the end is near) I looked around at my fellow peers and got carried away again observing their actions. I hope it doesn’t come off weird when I say that I am fascinated watching other people when they don’t think anyone is looking. I find people are more cautious when they know they are being watched (and I’m sure many scientifical studies have proven this).

But then I started to become aware of the sights and sounds around us, as a group of young adults baking outside in the sun. The music playing, the fire truck sirens, the chatter of knowledge…all combining into one great ambient force. The majority of people had their head buried in some type of reading material from books, to notes, to magazines. We are a generation bombarded, yet enticed with ideas that address and question our intellect. But then I wondered, are we really learning anything valuable here?

Lets say I was to go to bed tonight and wake up thousands of years in the past with the knowledge I have now. Would it be of any use if I really can’t explain nor create the system that I live in now, where everything is literally at my fingertips? We think we’re so great and modern, but the problem is we depend on it. I depend on it.

This year for example, I learned the system of radio transmission; signals are sent through the air to be picked up by receivers. Simple right? But how would I explain that to someone in the past who has no concept of music, let alone the radio. These signals travel through the air… like birds? Like magic? Same thing goes for television, and computers… or any piece of technology for that matter.
What good is knowledge if it just floats through the air? It travels from computer to computer. It changes and grows every day but few actually understand it. We just use it. Depend on it. Expect it.

Hmm... I wonder what would happen if it was all taken away. If we lived in a world where the only conflict of interest would be who makes the fire, and who does the hunting, opposed to who gets to control the tv remote. Oh wait, scratch that, everyone pretty much has their own television now.


dick14 said...

Practical knowledge derives from theoretical knowledge. Knowing the theory of the electromagnetic spectrum and conceptualizing radio waves as a form of light is the first step to producing radio transmission. Theoretical concepts are the tools for creating tangibles. I think you are underestimating our ancestors. They, like us, have innate curiousity which led to the first tools being constructed within the hunter-gatherer society. Without their knowledge, ours would not exist.

~*crazy lil' woman in a one-man show*~ said...

Valid points, but this is indeed on thing I despise about blogging... I just can't seem to get it out the right way. I certaintly did not intend to underestimate the knowledge of our ancestors. Rather, feel that a world before all of our theoretical and scientific theories ever came to be would be interesting to live in, even for just a day. The human psyche is no doubt a very beautiful thing, and it amazes me to this day the ways in which we can further and further develop it. But sometimes I wonder why we choose to complicate things when the answer is simple. Nothing is certain, including my own half baked theory.

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