Monday, April 5, 2010

Learning Disorder

Most people begrudge learning.

They fight it, all the way from kindergarten right up to high-school. If they're destined for a higher education, they take the fight with them to their new institutions.

Fear, frustration and fatigue: learning to most people is to be tolerated -- barely -- but avoided whenever possible. There are moments with brief openings, possible opportunities, but beyond that is a high wall setup to protect oneself from outside forces. Outside information.

Later in life, long after the learning has ceased and the career has stagnated, what passes for debate is more often people just trying to validate what they know. They aren't open, they aren't interested, they aren't flexible. They aren't discussing. Instead they've locked themselves into their small subset of what they believe is the truth, and they'll just keep digging in farther.

Most people out of school don't want to learn new stuff. Perhaps, they don't mind a few trivialities, little fragments of infotainment, but anything and everything that might possibly cause them to reconsider their foundations is off limits. Hated, despised, feared. To be shouted down.

There are of course, some very few that keep learning their whole lives, but they are rare. Still, they're more aware than the rest of how precarious our knowledge rests on the edge of reason. We're awash in more mis-information than truth, more spin than reality, more lies than facts. In an age where we could know anything, but never really know the quality of that knowledge, getting stuck on the first set of facts through the door just seems like a bad lifetime choice. Flexibility is the only way to see through all of the organizations mis-representing themselves, and their efforts. All of the people out for their own interests. A bit of distance is required.

But, I guess it is embedded so deep into our being that each new shift in paradigm, culture, thinking or understanding still needs twenty to thirty years to really get rooted, precisely because that's how long it takes for one generation to cede the stage to the next. Only a real change in people will cause a real change in knowledge. Ideas are sticky.

Most people live their entire lives without realizing how wrong they are.

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