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we are drowning in information but staring for knowledge

i Usaid Javaid Javaid Iqbal
Category: Technology
Date: 15/10/2012

Sir, the reason is very plain; knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. 

Knowledge has little to do with the information we mindlessly memorize and forget after a difficult exam, but more with our experience and the way we process and reflect on it. Therefore, a quote by Rutherford Rogers is an ideal reflection of what has happened to my generation's education: "We're drowning in information and starving for knowledge."

Knowledge is best described as a set of facts that an individual is certain to be true not only because of a rigid education, but because of one's own questioning, comparing and deducing. Without this process, information becomes useless.

In our university I notice that we all are just running after knowledge like we won’t remember nothing of survey what should we do that we strive for knowledge. It is when we apply the factual information from school to our lives that we broaden our knowledge, but when we memorize facts for tests, write essays that have little connection to us as people, and are burdened with hours of busywork, we never have the chance to apply what is learned to our real lives. This is the dilemma Mark Twain addressed when he kidded, "I never let schooling interfere with my education." 

School is a start in the search for knowledge, but if it is not taken to the next level - if we get caught up with being the best through testing memorized facts - the growth of our knowledge is obstructed. It is then that we become mere dummies spitting out words that mean little.

Knowledge is also something we have to understand is ever-changing. Like scientists, people must absorb new evidence and challenge our theories and facts, build on them, even modify them. If one gives up questioning, a brick of the pyramid will be missing, and it will be impossible to build on it, which is where many are faced with a challenge.

To conclude, consider two quotes of Socrates: "Wisdom begins in wonder." 

It is only when we take facts and think out of the box that we are able to explore the limits of our knowledge. Only when one begins to wonder will he or she realize that "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance."

 Well… It’s true. Look at today’s society. We get our knowledge from books, from teachers, from the internet, from magazines, from the TV, from newspapers. But we know nothing.

What did we learn in high school? We learned simple facts. We learned many things that would never prepare us for the “real” world. So when we were going through high school, how many of us sought education OUTSIDE of school? How many watched the news? How many read non fiction books? Not many.

And we graduate. We go to college and often we only learn about subjects in our major. We still don’t know what happens in the world. Often, way too often, we are taught our opinions. I can’t say I’m not guilty of it. Someone tells me a political opinion and maybe I’ll start to agree with them. Sometimes I won’t check out the matter for myself. But I shouldn’t let others shape my opinion. I should find the truth for myself.

Anyhow, it makes me think harder about reliable and trusted knowledge. For current events, I understand you check out a bunch of news sources. However, what about when it comes to other subjects. History? Religion? Politics? Now there are some things you can’t mess with. Like WW2 did happen, and there is a such thing as feminist political theory. But when we pick up books do we check how credible the author is? Do we see where they studied? I mean, I think I realize this more because when I’m reading up on Islam I have to screen the authors. I need to know where they studied and see what others think of him. But too often, I don’t do this with other subjects. I should.

Obviously since I’m Muslim, I’ll bring back examples of this in Islam. Many people are all ready to learn about Islam from people with Muslim sounding names. Especially when they have problems with Islam. For some reason this gives them legitimacy in the eyes of the public. Need names? Tariq Ali? The born Muslim who turned atheist. I started to read his book on Fundamentalism. But he attacked Islam so much that I felt he had a personal connection with Islam that was clouding his writing. To talk about Fundamentalism you need to talk about Islam (It was on Islamic Fundamentalism). I understand. But you don’t need to criticize it and Christianity as well. Irshad Manji? The lesbian Muslim who calls for reform? She’s now viewed by some as a know it all on Islam. Please. She talks about the lack of ijma (consensus by Islamic scholars) in these days. But does she realize that Islamic scholars still meet to discuss new issues that arise (like the Muslim astronaut and how he can pray in space with short days).

I just feel that we could all do with a little more knowledge. We talk our mouths off without knowing anything. We pick up a book on a subject and start talking about it as if we know. I know nothing, you know nothing, we know nothing. I emphasize… we know NOTHING

posted by Usaid Javaid Javaid Iqbal | suggest edit


we are drowning in information but staring for knowledge


we are drowning in information but staring for knowledge


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