When we grow old, it seems like we don’t really learn much anymore. We learn everything we need to survive; whether job or otherwise. I’m way too young to come to this realization, from observation of peers and other people I do find myself at an impasse in education. By now, I should be in a college or university – well realistically, in bed since it’s way too early for a blog. I had aspirations mind you, but I had my sights on something bigger than myself. I still do but it may turn to a pipedream if I can’t find any way to really doing. What I do with my life isn’t on the firing line for now; but my education retrospectively. From once we start learning to the beginning of our adulthood, we either consciously and unconsciously choose what we want to do. We might enjoy science so we choose courses tailored for science to refine to a specific field of study. In some way, I think this isn’t really learning. Obviously it is since you are learning about a particular academia; but overall when you put it deep down, you don’t learn anything else.
Way before we had academics et cetera, we as humans learn from our predecessors (parents, guardian, non-biological adult) to survive. Considering all the life sustaining systems we take for granted – agriculture, self-defence, cookery – they were all taught by the adults to help their prodigy to survive because it’s what they did to survive. This wisdom was not tested by numbers or tests, but by livelihood. Meaning, if your parents taught you to cook you can survive well by cooking food; if your parents taught you to hunt animals, you would be able to track and kill wild boar and whatever else you can kill and eat. Nowadays in the land of money and urbanism, we seem to survive on what we learn from society itself. Learning has been to been turns into a product and not really a necessary skill. Rather than things we need to do to survive, we receive what we need to make money to survive. The complexity of this generational survivalism from just living to living with set duties within a society. I’m not demonizing the system, but amount of academia and demand is very high and it’s coming up to the point where it can develop into a class differential between secondary and post-secondary education. Purist, we are all dumb in a sense. To a degree, we all do have certain amount of knowledge of everything. However this is starting to be not the case in the new century.
Now education is more focused on social needs. If the society needs geologists, there’s a program for that. If the society needs financial advisors, there’s someone out there waiting for that job. It’s not really about the needs of ourselves in education, but the need of the social environment and the incentives thereof. Problem with this is that now in a world of billions, we have excessive need of people for those small amount of jobs. Where does the overflow go? Well either they move somewhere where they can get that kind of work or simply pay off debts with small wage jobs. Surgeons as taxi drivers, linguists working behind a a register. In it’s infancy, academia encompasses classical and contemporary learning. What we use to learn in family and what the society may need. You would learn because you wanted to find out more and to to satisfied with discovering something. Now it seems more and more from observation, learning is more is to fit a social need. Back then many aspired to be a renaissance person (one who specialized in many studies), now it’s primarily the false aspiration of “I want to be this because it pays well.” So are you learning for yourself or learning for society.
Beside the philosophical pondering, I think intelligence is from what you know and not of what you specifically know. Applicable intelligence I think is more useful than academia. It helps with survival in terms of a life or death scenario. Likely in a land of plenty and a city of abundance, academia is a survival trait now. But when society collapses, are we prepared to survive on a natural capacity? Matter of speaking, we have so far. But we should focus learning and questioning everything rather than accepting what is provided. Of course it’s the basis of science to ask the how and why, I think it’s more importantly to learn everything and ask anything.