Disinterested knowledge is play dough

Disinterested knowledge is play dough

As far as knowledge goes I would say that our brain is filled with fragments and parts.

A part is a collection of fragments and occasionally other parts. A part has coherence, i.e. organization. That organization can be meaning induced or science induced. A science induced part has scientific organization; scientifically organized means a collection organized about an objective concept. A meaning induced part has coherence about a subjective meaning. This part has coherence because there is a meaningful juxtaposition of the part with me. The meaning induced part is special because it has importance to me; it has a meaningful relationship to me.

A fragment of knowledge is just there, all alone, without coherence of any kind. It is easily lost and seldom missed when lost.

Our educational system is designed to fill our heads as quickly and efficiently as possible with scientifically induced parts of knowledge. These parts of knowledge are useful for doing specific kinds of jobs. Our educational system wastes little time on meaning induced parts. I suspect that much of our educationally directed accumulated knowledge are fragments, not because it is intended but because of inefficient schooling. I suspect much of our testing processes result in such fragments.

A few days ago I received a note from my grandson J. J said he had decided to join the Army Reserves. At that moment there developed a new connection between the Iraq war and me. At that moment the Iraq war became meaningful to me in a way far different from what it might have been before.

Meaning happens when there develops a confluence of emotion and knowledge such that a domain of knowledge becomes part of me. Meaning happens when a domain of knowledge becomes a vital part of me.

Understanding is the creation of meaning; it is a subjective happening, when there develops a confluence of emotion and knowing, which might be regarded as a tipping point. It happens in a moment and often only after a good bit of effort. We know many things but understand only a few.

Our schools and colleges teach us what to know but seldom have anything to say about understanding. In our world of production and consumption understanding is a luxury that we must work at to achieve.

A self-actualizing self-learning individual seeks meaning induced knowledge parts. Meaning is what self-learning is all about. It is meaning that makes self-actualizing self-learning delightful play. Unfortunately our educational systems have left most of us learning handicapped. This handicap displays itself in the alienation of the individual from the learning process.

Instrumental knowledge is interested knowledge. Instrumental knowledge is the life blood of a value system that places the maximizing of production and consumption as “Number One”.

Disinterested knowledge is the un-knowledge, it is the non-instrumental knowledge. Disinterested knowledge is an alien and clumsy word in a society that places maximum value on production and consumption. Disinterested knowledge is not a catalyst of production and consumption but it is the catalyst of creativity. Disinterested knowledge is the mixing bowl of creativity.

Creativity is the synthesis of the known into a model of the unknown. The value of the unknown is yet to be determined. Creativity requires a comfort with the unknown.

Disinterested knowledge is an intrinsic value. Disinterested knowledge is not a means but an end. It is knowledge I seek because I desire to know it.