Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Un-Learning Process

With all the attention that surrounds our learning, nobody ever seems to inform us as children that we'll want to devote just as much energy to un-learning as well. Against the vast range of obsolete and poorly-formed school curricula, universities with ulterior motives (capitalism rules everything around these), and perhaps well-meaning but ultimately ignorant adults, most of us have to rise above a deluge of educational obstacles in our pursuit of knowledge. Sometimes, what you don't know won't hurt you!

In a world well-acquainted with TMI – too much information – we're often better off not knowing some things – especially if said information is false or misconstrued. Such info tends to invite unfounded prejudices, presumptions, and pre-formed opinions containing no substantial basis. With television and the internet, its entirely too easy for misinformation to spread like pollen, taking advantage of those inclined to believe whatever is read or seen without deeper examination. Learning and un-learning are very similar processes, with the crucial difference being with the latter, self-reflection is typically the only tutor one needs.

In order to keep our knowledge accurate and relevant – as well as preserving some degree of peace and sanity – it seems essential for us to let go of a lot of it along the way. Nothing worse than being taught two plus two equals three... besides holding on to that old info, after uncovering further facts.

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