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The adventure into Knowledge Economy didn’t went on so well. My application to a scholarship in Finland has been refused. Being left out I came up with some random reflective thoughts about KE. So here goes nothing:

– in KE many pay to get knowledge, few get paid for doing it. Although I see myself more like Ismael than like a turist (remember Ismael getting into the boat in the beggining of Moby Dick?) the fact is that  I am on the side of the payers not of the receivers.

– Economic logic is fallacious, it goes on in a circle: to get a job you need a job. To be a researcher (paid as such) you need to be a researcher.

–  Kuhn was right: where do you stand?  Ambiguities don’t exist. We should behave as one of them. Cannot stand in between  – Am I to be a philosopher? An information researcher?

–  KE has strange consequences: things will get to this rather obscure point, in which the imperative of learning: “keep learning, throughout life” will amount to a Devaluation of Knowledge you already hold. There is no definitive knowledge, K has perishable value.

I strongly desagree with many of the premisses of KE I have stated here. But of course, all of these premisses are disputable, and might be false. Don’t put your emotions into your applications, they might blur your judgements. Probabilities is the right framework to view your application’s efforts.

Somehow it seems we have come to this contradiction between access to information and acquisition of  knowledge. Formal teaching and schools’ crisis are taken as a reflex of this phenomenon. There is a lot to wonder and to put into the form of a problem or a question.

So, for instance Augusto Cury (I think he is nowadays a popular psychiatrist) thinking about the lost authority of teachers tells us that children are suffering from an Accelerated Thought Syndrom: “They have become consumers of products and services, not of ideas and sensibility. In the past, the volume of information doubled every 200 years, now it doubles every 5 years. This information overload leads to the development of anxiety, irritability…and the lack of respect for rules, and no single law is able to solve the problem of authority. What has to change is education, completely, to a more humanized education.” He continues: “We live in a moment of ilimited offer of information. Today, a child of seven years old has more information than the one available to a roman imperor. But these informations haven’t brought knowledge, knowledge in experience and wiseness. These informations cause stress, restlessness, anxiety. A functional hiperactivity is produced, in this sick system. This is what I called the Accelerated Thought syndrom.They suffer from headaches, muscle pain, lack of concentration, chronical insatisfaction, emotional imbalance, despise of rules…These reflect on an uncontrolled consume of products and services.”

The solution cuts through the recognition of some paradoxes: “The ability to store data is limited, but the creative ability is limitless”. “Never before has the industry of entertainment developed so much and never before people have been so sad and depressive”.

I can not immediatly subscribe this diagnosis, but I understand it. Although I cannot argue deeply, I would like to state the following impressions (to develop and review):

  1. Libraries are not compatible with lifetime, the expression of awe gazing at all the stored human knowledge is not a new emotion (Goethe, Jorge Luís Borges have given it a literary form – is it merely egological? From a buddhist point of view knowledge (S/O) is part of the suffering). The quest of knowledge has always been the source of some anxiety, we as ” #erotic creatures# conscious that we lack something– including, perhaps, the knowledge of what this “something” is – and who want to reach out [In fact, this continual reaching out constitutes the movement of becoming that Kierkegaard identifies as “existence”].”
  2. Two sides of the question need to be leveled: a psychiatrist will necessary have to be suspicious about something that doesn’t fit the individual, this is the scale that he is concerned with. And we need this kind of perspective and interpretation. The opposing rethoric is the information/knowledge society interpretation of this phenomenon. In between them we may find the needle.

O.K. To be continued.