Wednesday, October 11, 2006


There is a difference between learning and being taught.
There is a difference between knowledge and qualification
There is a difference between knowing and understanding

Dialogue is a sytem of learning
Lecturing is a system of teaching
Philosophy cannot be taught, it must be learned.

There are facts and figure that we require to be taught in order to deal with our everyday lives - We need to know the basic laws of mathematics.
There are facts and figures that might make us more knowledgeable – reciting Einstein’s theory of relativity might do just that.
Understanding Einstein’s theory of relativity may qualify you to have an opinion on it.

In order to learn we have to experience and use the facts and figures which we have been taught, and in so doing to add another dimension to our understanding.
I may have seen the pyramids of Gisa an uncountable number of times and from all angles in books and in movies - plastered in my mind – but to know them requires more, it requires that I stand before them and experience them. I haven’t, but you get the idea.

I may know the relationship between voltage, current and resistance, but to experience the current induced by the mains voltage, as it travels to earth through my body’s resistance, goes beyond knowing.
Viva la résistance!

You may ask yourself…
What the fuck is he on about?
But I have seen the farce of educated boys and girls who believe themselves to know where it’s all at.
I have known educated people who couldn’t reason there way past their own prejudices.
I’ve seen educated people being suckered by the oldest trick in the book.

Now don’t get me wrong; everybody should be educated, anybody who is denied an education is being robbed – in the world we live in education should be a right.

That aside, we should also know that formal education is only the beginning – we cannot walk out of school or college or university and believe that we know anything beyond what we were taught.

Education gives us mental tools and a rudimentary understanding on how to use those tools.
It should follow that those tools may also be employed in maintaining and developing to the machine that is our brain.
This machine is capable of more than data in/data out computation; this machine can link a smell to a room on a specific date then mush all the data together, compare how you felt then to how you feel now and thereby create a feeling of nostalgic loss.
This machine can appreciate the beauty of understanding how things come to be: how the lines around my mouth are formed by my attitude to life; how to read the sadness in the corner of an eye.
This machine that understands that to understand is to create, in the mind, a fuller picture in lurid oils; obsidian sculpture; mathematical model; or the rising of everyday enlightenment.

It is true to say that while you are being formally educated you are being programmed.
It is also true that what is being programmed is owned wholly by you – you retain the right to question the program.

So choose your programmers wisely children; don’t let them fuck with your head.


Zatikia said...

A formal education can close a person into knowing nothing more. Thinking knowledge is something that comes from without, not welling up from inside. There is so much I have not read, because what you put in your head is important, it stays there. It is true, we do have a choice, to take information for further thought, or as the dead end answer. But it seems most are taught to learn facts and not think. It is good to read where you too see this. Getting educated can make us stupid if we are not careful.

Zanzounito said...

So it seems as if you have a window to my life and publish things to cater to my feelings at the moment...

I am graduating college this semester, and I feel as if I have learned nothing. Today, it hit me the worst bec. of events that have been snowballing.

Your words hold great truth, now I know to choose my school wisely.

red-dirt-girl said...

First, thank you for your kind but generous review.....I hope you will return often just to visit....

I especially enjoyed the Mao quote...if he were a flower I would call him Red Oleander aka deadly nightshade.......

I of course, love this anti-hero for our minds: for some reason you bring to MY mind the anti-hero John Galt in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.....please never stop what you are would leave a hole in the atmosphere!

red dirt girl

gregrandgar said...

I began a comment earlier but it bloated into a spontaneous post on my blog.

Pisces Iscariot said...

I read The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as a teenager and have always been perturbed by Ayn Rand’s world - a rather cold and clinical place; a place which held no store for anything but intellect.
Unfortunately the intellect can lead us to some strange places, places that justify all sorts of immorality, all kinds of atrocity.
Our species is blessed (and cursed) with a gut (for want of a better word) that at any given time has the power to override the intellect with a deeper vision, a world beyond the arrangements of logic and learning, a world that words can only allude to.

red-dirt-girl said...

hmmmmm then I think that maybe Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury was disturbing to you as well.....indeed, we, as humans, often retreat into our intellect - at times to survive just the atrocities and immorality you describe.......but passion also leads us there: a passion to be right, justified; a passion to have, to WANT, to fulfill our human desires........Balance is key, don't you think Pisces?


Pisces Iscariot said...

Balance indeed - problem is I keep falling off - gymnastics was never my thang :]

red-dirt-girl said...


red-dirt-girl said...

BTW - I believe balancing is more of a high wire act in the circus - not too far to fall in the gym.........just make sure you have a net to catch you... ;p