Monday, October 06, 2008

Learn gratia Knowledgis

Can there be an unbiased learning of any piece of knowledge where the objective to learn is anything other than "to know"?

Argument- Any knowledge when sought with an ulterior motive - biases the study towards that motive instead of the knowledge itself, unadulterated. As a result, aspects of the knowledge that do not cater to or do not seem highly relevant to the objective are ignored or ill-understood.

Counter- Neccessity is the mother of invention, etc. All engineering came about as man learnt to apply science in order to solve other problems. A step further - the desire to know is always given birth from a different need - say a desire for food, or shelter, or entertainment or pride. So the "other bad impure objective" is the very reason that the "desire to know" was born.

Will need examples. 


Seated in a coffee shop. The gang - Plato's Republic, Naom Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival, a spinach-corn-cheese sandwich and The Inimitable Jeeves.

Objective: To save the day from sitcoms, football and a blurry passage of time.

Anticipated secondary benefit - A written word.

The presence of a contrast essential to the presence of any side of the story. That is to say that you cannot have one side without the other. You cannot have a "bright" without knowledge of a "dark". There can be no "sober" without a "drunk". You get the drift.

Becomes useful then to fill in the non-work hours with those things you don't do at work. Like think. Or converse instead of talk. Or not jugaad. In order to restore order to the universe, of course.

And that is the aim of this holiday.