From playing the Banjo to writing non-fiction erotica to raising your kids religious, you can learn how to do any of it in under hundred bucks. Although if you want to learn all three, you need to buy my course: making a murderer.
The Internet is a fat-fatigue of information. The assembly of yottabytes along with the velocity of their access has changed how and what we learn. This carnival ride has thrown up one disturbing question: has all of this made us more intelligent?
Is it the truth that is painful, or is it the embarrassment of its simplicity we suffer for; from?
With so much information, man, for perhaps the first time, bored into an inexhaustible resource, both ubiquitous and (nearly) free.
And what did he decide to do with it?
If you are not gathering information every day, you are falling behind. At first that makes sense. As an alternative to hacking fruits on your phone or keeping up with the Kardashians, it’s an existential romp. But the moment it becomes your framework for how you live your life it becomes the bacillus for the air-borne neurosis to relentlessly upgrade yourself.
We aren’t looking for information as much as demanding everything, and everyone just lead us to more information — failing which the thing or the person is pointless.
To be learned now is to be buried under an information avalanche. Learning by hoarding is the central part of our quest to become better than others. It’s one reason why every conversation now is the lowest form of exchange:
Debate, now, is a contest to show how much shit you’ve hoarded. Experience used to be the ultimate cop-out, a permanent closure of your mind. Now it’s information. Experience’s bitch.
I wrote an entire essay about a condition catching on lately: Learning how to learn: Kama Sutra for the head. I tried some of the methods and forgot all about learning and focused instead on whether I was applying learning to learn and bending my brain in all the right ways. It’s like what productivity means now: I don’t do shit, but I know all the ways to get shit done really fast.
But here’s the one idea that’s boggled my unhatched eggheadedness: unlearning. The bulimia of knowledge.
We realized the information we hoarded didn’t actually change us. It wasn’t making us ‘happy’. So we pretended to let it go, hoping something would change. You are kinkier than like a doornail bent over itself. Your search for meaning is so desperate you will go in search of meaninglessness to get there.
The library was the subconscious of information. Alcoving with a book had an infinite capacity to wipe out all need for something higher. We took in information not to become smarter but to be more useful to people around us. To be less of a pain in society’s arse. In the pointless speck that is your life, the treasure hunt for books helped you experience as much of life before turning into the dust of time. This kind of learning preserved our innocence by endangering our ignorance.
And you learned how to learn by being open and changing your mind often.
Our response to art, beauty and nature is irony, cynicism and boredom. When we find out there are things in the world that don’t revolve around us, that will thrive without us, it pisses us off. It’s what we call pointlessness. And we use information to cover up this futility. Pointlessness is the intelligence of learning. When you understand that, when you will have dug yourself not out, but on to the other side of information: out of knowledge and into knowing, into the library of consciousness, you will have become a student.
That’s when learning begins. When time’s wake leaves you with things undiscovered.
2 thoughts on “Let me answer your question with another question”
Thanks for bringing this perspective. Yet to track ton of hyperlinks, though.
“I have had the growing realization over the past few years that the problem of man’s knowledge is not to oppose & to demolish opposing views, but to include them in the larger theoretical structure”
-Ernest Becker (referring to the urge for hyperlinks!)
“And we use information to cover up this futility. Pointlessness is the intelligence of learning.” -all worth the reads to come across statements of sheer brilliance.
Thanks for writing and what a shrewd thought from Ernest Becker. The hyperlinks were deliberate for this post, in fact. They are reading’s OCD and I have started to avoid them.