Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Knowledge dissemination

“In the matter of the spread of knowledge two conditions are prerequisites. There must be formal education. There must be literacy. Without these two, knowledge cannot spread.” -
Dr. B. R. Babasheb Ambedkar, Writings and Speeches, vol. 3, p. 41

Quoted from A Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations. Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p. 7. See Amazon.com.

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BONNIE said...

Formal education without the aid of an inquisitive mind and a love of the truth is useless. One does not require a formal education to possess these. Such education is knowledge for its own sake and not helpful in a practical sense; it is mere vanity. Knowledge accompanied with wisdom is what is of true value.

The spread of knowledge requires a medium, this is true. Formal education is only one such medium, however. Today there are many ways to acquire knowledge, the primary one being the internet. Of course, you can't believe everything you read, but you should not believe everything you read at a formal educational institute either. This is where the love of the truth becomes indispensable.

Without literacy it is practically impossible to have the type of head knowledge you speak of, it is true. There is a knowledge that is practical however, that does not require literacy. One can look to the wise but illiterate aged ones to see this. They have common sense, which appears to be a rare and precious commodity these days.

If you have an inquisitive mind, love the truth and have wisdom (common sense) you can learn anything you want to, even if you have no formal education.

Literacy is definitely an asset in acquiring knowledge. One cannot write if one cannot read. Writing is the only way to permanently record ideas in a way that is not altered by time and circumstance. Oral cultures change their stories over time, no matter how careful the teller.

There are many well-read and highly educated people (in the formal sense) who have no practical sense at all. They are difficult to relate to. They are wind-bags full of knowledge and a sense of their own self-importance, ever seeking knowledge but never coming to a knowledge of the truth. This is one of the greatest tragedies of all.

Formal education and the pursuit of knowledge without humility tends to create an intellectual pride and arrogance that is a detriment rather than an asset to the individual. There is far more of that these days than is good for anybody. A formal education is over-rated. What parents should be teaching their children is curiosity, humility, and a love of the truth. Only then is a formal education of any value.

Mohamed Taher said...

Thank you Bonnie for this stop.
Here the quote comes from a scholar who is speaking of the India that was then (and even now), and the whole message is for the masses of the land that is India.

And, thank you for re-posting the comemnt on the Golde rule.
My intention is not to say you are breaking the rule, sorry if it was misleading.
Stay connect, MT