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Avoiding Knowingness

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California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Created: June 26, 2004
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Latest Update: June 27, 2004

E-Mail Icon jeannecurran@habermas.org
takata@uwp.edu

Index of Topics on Site Remain Open to All Knowledge
But Don't Send Me That Link Unless You've Evaluated It

I am starting this file with a reference to Ivan Illich's In the Vineyard of the Text: A Commentary to Hugh's Didascalicon. That's not just showing off. I haven't read the Didascalicon. Never even heard of it before I read In the Vineyard of the Text. It's kind of a twelfth century guide to higher learning, and Ivan Illich spends a lot of time explaining why such a title doesn't catch its twelfth century sense and precisely what his cmmentary is about: the epoch of "bookish learning" that is moving on past the "book" as "text" scarfs down new meanings.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary Search:

Check out the third meaning of "scarf. You'll have to link on the definition with the bold 3. Never disdain any knowledge, even if hunting it down pisses you off.

It is arrogance to assume that we "know," and that others, learned or not, do not "know." We need to consider all knowledge and grant it the good faith due any validity claim. We're still learning who we are. This morning Pat sent me a link, no comments, no explanation, just a link: A Comparison of Traditional Religion and Children's Entertainment By Lori Shuford, 587 Words, Fall 2001. I could trace it back To Southwestern Community College, but no further. Who is Bob H., in whose directory the file resides. And who is Lori Shuford? The word count leads me to suspect she is a student.

Notice that my first reaction is to evaluate the source of the knowledge. Where is this coming from? Is there any traditional authority associated with it? Who is the audience? Who is the author? Southwest Community College tells me the source is academic. But no more. Is the source teacher or student.

  • Step 1: Do a Google search or some other search engine search. I searched for "Lori Shuford". This led me to a link to the essay as the second item. The first item was from North Carolina, and probably wasn't the same Lori Shuford. The third item linked to the same website and server, Comparison Essays. So there were more.

    Comparison Essays This suggests that this was probably a class exercise, and three examples are listed, two on the topic of traditional religion and children's entertainment. The authors of the essays were probably students in the class. One essay on Love of the Beach and Love of Sports was written in 2000. The other two in 2001. This would suggest that the same class was offered over time, and that these three essays are samples from those classes.

    Backtracking to the directory, bobh, gives a server error again, so no way to tell if bobh was the instructor, or if he was just someone who was uploading the essays. And why only three??? Backtracking to the base directory, we find a Table of Contents that reflects primarily student interests, so that this is probably a student server at Southwestern.

    A Comparison of Traditional Religion and Children's Entertainment By Christie Goins. And Christie Goins, in her last paragraph, seems to tell us what the exercise was about:

    "Ordinary thought and obvious observations of traditional religion and children's entertainment do not even appear to be subjects that would be introduced in the same forum. As these examples have depicted, it is possible to find similarities in two completely distinct and dissimilar subjects. Although one might normally separate distinctions in both traditional religion and children's entertainment very easily, it is plausible to consider the likenesses. Through comparison and contrast we are able to find common ground between subjects and topics that can help us to further define and categorize information in order that we may better understand it."

    Pat also sent this link, same way: Government schools “The opiate of the people” By Christopher Hansen.

    Go to About us: "In a Republic governed by Constitutional law rooted in Biblical law, all Life, Liberty and Property are protected because law rules." Whoa!



Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2004.
"Fair use" encouraged.