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Author Topic: Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?  (Read 1461 times)

Offline coberst

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Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?
« on: 25/04/2009 22:07:58 »
Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?

To the self-actualizing self-learner who has studied briefly the high points in human history the prospect of ever comprehending the human condition seems overwhelming. Where to begin? Perhaps some comprehension as to why the ancients could only propose eschatological solutions becomes apparent. Explanations for the human condition can come only from the beyond; perhaps only the will of God can be a starting point.

When we realize this we perhaps will be less condescending regarding the errors of the early thinkers when they began to seek a human solution for a crisis in human knowledge. How to set a coherent path to alleviate the chaotic drift in education and the fragmentation of thought?

The term ‘Renaissance Man’ suggests a wo/man of many accomplishments. S/he is a person who is not a specialist but a generalist, a person who knows a significant amount about many domains of knowledge rather than knowing more and more about less and less as does the specialist.

We might consider two classifications of knowledge similar to Aristotle’s definition. Accordingly one can have a ‘scientific knowledge’ of a matter or one can have an ‘educational acquaintance’ with that matter. Scientific knowledge is the possession of the specialist who knows not just general principles and conclusions of the field but also many of the detailed findings included therein. Educational acquaintance comes with a comprehension of the methods of the subject, not just the details, particulars, and conclusions. A person with an educational acquaintance with a domain of knowledge is a person who is “critical” in that field.

To quote Aristotle “It will, however, of course, be understood that we only ascribe universal education to one who in his own individual person is thus critical in all or nearly all branches of knowledge, and not to one who has a like ability merely in some special subject. For it is possible for a man to have this competence in some one branch of knowledge without having it in all.”

The individual with an educational acquaintance in a field of knowledge is one who is capable of sorting out sense from non-sense in that field.

Some will whine that today, with all of our knowledge, it is impossible for anyone to become a Renaissance Person. I say non-sense! With the world’s accumulated knowledge at our finger-tips anyone who has practiced the art and science of navigating knowledge can quickly gain an educational acquaintance with any domain of knowledge in a matter of weeks rather than a matter of years as would be required in ancient times.

Is a modern day Renaissance man or woman impossible? 

I do not think that is impossible.  Today becoming a Bacon or a Thomas is, relatively, a piece of cake.



 

Variola

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Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?
« Reply #1 on: 26/04/2009 00:12:22 »
So you think that to beat the financial crisis we should become a 'Jack of all trsdes'? That is in essence what you are saying.
Perhaps you could develop that line more.
 

Offline coberst

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Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2009 15:42:39 »
Awareness + Attention = Consciousness

Comprehension is a hierarchy, resembling a pyramid, with awareness at the base followed by consciousness, succeeded by knowing, with understanding at the pinnacle.

There is a great difference between knowing and understanding.  Everyone can answer “yes” when asked if they know music.  We receive answers that go on forever when we ask a teenager if they know music.  We awaken instant and sentimental memories when we ask an older person to tell what they know about music. 

Silence and puzzlement is our response when we ask a person “do you understand music?”  Occasionally the question “do you understand music?” receives an expression of delight and a verbal outpouring.  The person who understands music--they are few and far between--has studied music in a way very few of us have.  I suspect such a person is not only a lover but also a student of music.  I do not understand music but I do understand the meaning of “understanding music”.

I create this musical metaphor for the purpose of illuminating a state of affairs of which we are seldom conscious.

Our formal educational system teaches us the knowledge required for making a living.  Our formal education does not teach us the understanding required to live well.  The development of understanding is something each of us must create on our own.  If we do not recognize this fact we will not pursue this understanding and if we do not pursue this understanding we will remain intellectually naive.

We start our formal education experience as intellectually naïve children and end it twelve to eighteen years later as well informed intellectually naïve grown ups. 

After formal education ends our understanding begins.  The task of understanding is a private enterprise by me and for me.  Understanding begins with this recognition and continues as one creates a process for the solitary activity of self-learning.  I think a person could look at self-learning as a hobby, it could be one of your hobbies like tennis or golf, just a few hours each week and I suspect after a while it will become a very important part of your life style.  Developing a sophisticated intellect is a solitary study lasting a lifetime.

Awareness--faces in a crowd.

Consciousness—smile, a handshake, and curiosity.

Knowledge—long talks sharing desires and ambitions.

Understanding—a best friend bringing constant April.


Carl Sagan is quoted as having written; “Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.”

 

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Isn’t our financial crisis fair warning?
« Reply #2 on: 27/04/2009 15:42:39 »

 

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