What does it mean to be educated? ( my experimental take )

Kruger

For it was my master who taught me not only how very little I knew but also that any wisdom to which I might ever aspire could consist only in realizing more fully the infinity of my ignorance.”
Karl Popper

============================ NOTE =============================

I have been inactive and have not added any posts for an unusually long period of time, thus disrupting quite regular schedule I was able to maintain thus far. If, by doing this, I have disappointed anyone to any extent, I am apologizing now and I am assuring you that I am about to continue updating the blog, fortunately having in mind quite impressive number of ideas and an abundance of thoughts. The break happened because I became very busy and that is probably not going to change anytime soon. Therefore, from now on, I will not stick to any schedule at all but will just keep publishing when I am able to and when the material is ready for it. Nonetheless, I expect to publish plenty of posts this year and beyond. At some point, some kind of summary will also appear.

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As a student myself, I would like to use the space of this blog to share this short reflection on education, one of the kind of which I would not dare to voice at the university:

~ What does it mean to be educated? ~

It is to know that what you do not know outnumbers that which you do in a shockingly unequal, personally disadvantageous and humility-inducing ratio.

It is to know that it is everyone’s initial state of mind, everyone’s starting point from which to proceed, to be generally lacking in knowledge and erudition as we are all born this way.

It is to know that there is no need to feel somewhat inferior or dishonored due to not knowing something, because there is nothing wrong at all in admitting to not knowing something. It is rather, by contrast, far more advisable to admit this than to succumb to pretending to know and fail embarrassingly. However, you may be rightly scolded if, having all the necessary conditions provided, you willfully refuse to educate yourself and are satisfied with not wanting to get rid of not knowing.

It is to possess the ability to estimate with close approximation what are the territories covered by and what are the topics included in that which you do not know.

It is to know how to find out, where to turn attention to, where it is most promising and effective to search for that which you allready know you do not know – this is of the essence.

It is to know how to decide what is reliable source and what is not and how to discern quality information from disjointed or bias-driven bits.

It is to know how to avoid public humiliation instead of steeping more and more into the domain of error and absurdity.

It is to know how to examine your own assumptions and methodologies, how to spot your own mistakes and how to correct them, especially before anyone else points them in some unpleasant manner.

It is to know how to defend yourself as well as ‘unsuspecting or unprotected others’ against intellectual charlatanism and make sure to not fall into it yourself, to not find yourself on the same boat with those against who you were trying to defend yourself or others in the first place.

It is, finally, to know that it is never enough to aquire knowledge, it must additionally be shared, disclosed, allowed to circulate and systematically applied. Otherwise, the whole effort amounts to nothing and is a waste of time. It serves no purpose when kept to oneself and is merely passively stored in one’s memory. Opposition to such potential state of affairs is, by the way, one of the motivations behind me running this blog…

In short, education is about teaching critical survival skills needed to deal with undeniable complexity of the reality. Having had undergone this educational process, one should be able to stand on his own, equipped with mental tools that should be of tremendous help in navigating this complicated, nonsubordinate, challenging world, in which everyone has to eventually find his place.


You might want to check these, somewhat related, ‘messages to the world’ as comparative supplements to my take on the subject matter:


Let me know what sort of comeback this is!

RE 3

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