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What do you know?

I'm enrolled in a class at Regent College these two weeks led by Quentin Schultze on the topic of faith and media.
There is an interesting conversation about learning raised in class today. Someone asked (who is a high school teacher), when all knowledge can be access through the internet with the proper searching technology, which is improving continuously, what is the point to know anything anymore? And this is exactly how his students think. They only memorize knowledge in a short-term fashion for exams and forget them immediately afterwards.
I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the concept of knowledge and learning behind this argument. What you can access on the web (most of them) I’ll only call data. If data is being put together in a meaningful fashion they become information. But not until you internalize and digest and reiterate that information within you and turn them into your own, they are not knowledge.
So learning should not be reduced to techniques for data searching. Learning is the process of turning data or information into knowledge. Many young people today do not have this ability to learn, because the education system is not giving them the vision about learn, and how important it is in a knowledge society.
We are in fact defined by what we know. A carpenter is defined as a carpenter because he or she possesses the specific knowledge of carpentry. A musician is defined as a musician because he or she possesses the specific knowledge of music. We are what we know. Knowledge gives us our identity.
When you do not have the ability to learn, when you do not possess knowledge of your own, you lose your identity. And this is exactly the struggle many young people are experiencing.
"Thou shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." This bible verse is inscribed over the door to the Library of the University of Oregon. It cannot be more correct.


  • 正如林一峰話齋,閱讀,也是一種 state of mind。
  • 所以不限文字,還有聲音影像一切雜崩能東西,都在涉獵反思消化乾坤大挪移之列。
  • 看重的只有一個字:Insight


I work at Westside Baptist Church. Of course, that doesn't mean they agree with everything I post or link here. Everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved in advance. Consider yourself warned.