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Basic Choices, Inc.
A Midwest Center for Clarifying Political and Social Options
"I am confronting a mass superstition. We have been swept on a flood-tide of public policy and popular sentiment into an expansion of schooling and an aggrandizement of school-people that is grossly wasteful of wealth and effort and does positive damage."
[(Goodman, p. 7. See Also; Hapgood, Kohr) See BIBlOGRAPHY for references starting on p. 11]
[Keynote address by John Ohliger delivered to the Eighth Annual Convocation of the Meiklejohn Education Foundation, October 23, 1988. Convocation theme: LIBERAL EDUCATION IN THE AGE OF THE COMPUTER. Co-sponsored and hosted by the Integrated Liberal Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Thanks to Alice Andersen, Veb Cotton, Melba Jesudason, Phil Kaveny, Warren Olson, Von Pittaan, Hilton Power, Chris Wagner, and Chester Vang for their helpful comments, suggestions, and criticisms.]
Back in the good-bad old days of the golden age before history there was n0 east/west philosophical split, just people uniited throughout the earth in the silent communion of communities. History began with the imposition of male domination and the over-reli ance on the spoken, then on the written word. The simple unity of god and godhead — or goddess and the way (the tao) — then split into the western male god and the eastern non-personal godhead. Since then it's been a question of which will prevail: humpty-dumpty in pieces after the fall or the mystic force that makes all humans one with each other, the earth, and the universe. Right now poor old humpty-dumpty is ahead with everyone fighting over the pieces of the egg. If unity is to prevail it will come vith the realization that both knowledge and power are properly subordinate to some greater whole that includes their apparent opposites; knowledge as fellowship with others and nature (or unlearning) paired vith knowledge as the accumulation of data, and power as affiliation paired with power as force. When we realize that no words exist or can exist to characterize that greater unity, we may be on our way to achieving it.
(Coomaraswamy, Eisler, Sonia Johnson, Lee, Lindsay, Beruda, OhLiger (1985d), Shah (1981), Sharma, Teich, Winterson)
For the next thirty minutes I'm going to present some thoughts on what I've discovered in my own reading in recent months about "knowledge" and "power" as they relate to the prevalent public images of liberal education and computers. I'll weave in my own experiences in the vast field of adult education and along the way pose some questions that intrigue me — and I hope interest you — that we might discuss in the remaining time. To keep this talk as short as passible, I'll sometimes quote from others without attribution. But a copy of this talk is available with the sources listed and I'll be glad to point to any of them during the discussion period.
I do not claim to know what liberal education is or what makes computers work. I don't consider myself a liberally educated person or a computer expert, but have come in contact with both quite a lot.
From the early through the late 1950s the Ford Foundation devoted many millions of dollars to promoting liberal education for adults through its Fund for Adult Education (Cotton). I was a recipient of one of the Fund's so-called leadership grants to do graduate study at UCLA. An article I wrote was published on integrating adult literacy education and liberal education (Ohliger, 1969). The director of the Fund supported Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults and I co-authored a chapter in a handbook of adult education (Liveright & Ohliger). And my doctoral dissertation was published by that Center (Ohliger, 1967). I was a participant, discussion leader, and trainer of lay leaders in liberal arts adult groups on politics, cultural anthropology, humanities, and modern art. For a couple years I worked as a trainer of discussion leaders for the Great Books Foundation in Chicago and then as assistant to its President. Perhaps the closest I came to what might be called "traditional" liberal education is a one-semester discussion course I took in the Basic Program of Liberal Arts for Adults at the University of Chicago in the late 1950s. Its leader was Allan Bloom, the topic, a short dialogue of Plato's. It was very stimulating to go over one Platonic dialogue word by word with Bloom constantly questioning us. Soon after this Bloom started teaching full time in universities about which he writes so passionately in his best-selling The Closing of the American Mind (Bloom. See Also: Leonard, Sol).
As for computers, I've worked part time for the past 12 years in the University of Wisconsin library where my job requires me to search for information, enter it, and edit it on computers. Basic Choices owns a word processor. I typed and edited this talk on it.
Exploring "knowledge" and "power" as they relate to liberal education and computers is such a vast topic that I've narrowed it to consideration of two phrases that are emblematic of their public images; "Knowledge for its own sake" in regard to liberal education and "Knowledge is power" for computers, (see Yolton)
"Knowledge for its own sake" and "Knowledge is power" reverberate up through the ages in the works of many influential writers. In modern publications "Knowledge for its own sake" is frequently presented as shorthand for the purpose of liberal education (Annan, Einstein, Leacock, Maimonides, Stanley, Unamuno). The most recent example I found was in The New York Review of Books for September 29th of this year (Annan). "Knowledge is Power" -- with its allied phrases "Information is Power," "The Knowledge Explosion" (Anonymous), and "The Information Revolution" (See Also; Day (1921), Rodriguez) — appears as practically the cheerleaders' rallying cry of the computer age. Not only is it plastered in poster form — sometimes accompanied by a picture of Superman — in libraries throughout the land, but it is presented as one of the most basic assumptions in both scholarly articles and public relations hype for the contention that the computer is the latest, best, and most salient example of the wonders of modern science and high technology (Bell, Capra, Donaldson, Feigenbaum and McCorduck, Ferrarotti (1986) & (1988), Gabor, Lacey, McDermott (1969s & b), Pagels, Wallechinsky, Whitney).
II. KNOWLEDGE FOR ITS OWN SAKE
Of the two phrases, "knowledge for its own sake" is the more difficult to trace historically. I found only one reference to it in books of quotations or indexes to thematically related works. The best clue involved going through the extensive "Syntopicon" to the Great Books of the Western World set. Alexander Meiklejohn sat on its Advisory Board. "Knowledge" is one of the so-called one-hundred and two "Great Ideas" (See Also; Carlin, Veeser). There's a section listing excerpts from thirty-seven of the books by twenty-two different authors on this theme; "The distinction between theoretic and practical knowledge: knowing for the sake of knowledge and for the sake of action or production."
Since working for the non-profit Great Books Foundation I've been leery of this set of books. The Foundation used small inexpensive paperbacks for its groups and has no connection with the folks who sell the sets of hardbound works. When I was assistant to the President of the Foundation I discovered a letter in the files from Mortimer Adler written years before the hardbound books were produced promoting the creation of the Foundation and its groups as a good way of establishing a market for a hardbound set. People frequently confused the two organizations and would sometimes call us when some high pressure salesmen had persuaded them that they needed the expensive set to join the discussion groups or for the purpose of adding cultural furniture to their homes. My recollection is that their sales force was the subject of more legal complaints than any other similar group of book sets or encyclopedia purveyors.
But in this case the set of books did come in handy. I went through as many of the page references as I could understand or find relevant among — from Plato to William James. And with the help of some other works, here's what I caae up with;
In the dialogue Timeus Plato doesn't quite use the phrase "knowledge for its own sake" but does come quite close when he says;
"Be who has been earnest in the love of knowledge and of true wisdom, and has exercised his intellect more than any other part of him, ... in so far as human nature is capable of sharing in immortality, he must be altogether immortal ..." (Plato. Timeus, p. 513).
But it's possible that the phrase finds its true Western origin at least in Aristotle's Metaphysics:
"Understanding and knowledge pursued for their own sake are found most in knowledge of that which is most knowable (for he who chooses to know for the sake of knowing will choose most readily that which is most truly knowledge, . . .)" Aristotle. Metaphysics, p. 512).
Earlier in his Metaphysics. Aristotle may have provided a basic rationale for this statement when he wrote that famous sentence: "All humans by nature desire to know" (Book I, Chapter I. Great Books # 8, p. 490. See Also: Eisler, Thomas, Wilkins). But it wasn't until I started preparing for this talk that I looked at the three sentences that followed; "An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing . . . to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things."
Here I found at least an echo of the timeless unity of West and East; "The word intuition is derived from intuitus which implies the sense of sight and . . . philosophers have used it to connote the directness and immediacy of knowledge. Intuition is direct knowledge, compared with intellectual process it is another manifestation of spirit. In this experience there is an extension of perception to regions beyond sense, a awareness of real values, which are neither objects in space and time nor universals of thought. [The Indian philosopher] Radhakrishnan calls it integral experience, the exercise of consciousness as a whole, the response of the whole person. It is absolute and indubitable and utterly transcends the power of concepts to convey. [Says Radhakrishnan] 'The deepest things of life are known only through intuitive apprehension'" (Chourasia).
My favorite view of the image of liberal education comes from that great Canadian humorist and professor, Stephen Leacock; "I have spent all my life, over sixty years, in school and classrooms; I began at four years old and only stopped when they made me. If I am not educated, I don't know who is. . . . Education can only succeed in being practical by not trying to be so. . . . There seems to be something wrong with education. Instead of learning things for their own sake, because we want to, we learn things as a purely mechanical exercise, because we have to. . . Unless we go through the organized compulsory curriculum of a school and college we can't get the legal qualification to enter a profession. . . . The great central problem opens up as to how far education has got to be compulsory and how far purely spontaneous -- learning for learning's sake the things we want to know. . . . Look back, then, over 'modern education, and you see the conflict between these two principles of spontaneity and compulsion running all through it and still at work" (Leacock, pp. 33, 40, & 47).
In my view and in the view of many of my colleagues in adult education, the principle of compulsion is winning that conflict today. Over half the adult population is now required to go back to school to keep a license to practice, to stay out of jail or on the welfare rolls, to get promoted, or to remedy some defect (Ohliger, 1985b). Adult education is the invisible sleeping giant of American society where more money and personnel are devoted to it that to all other areas of education -- elementary, secondary, and higher -- combined (Ohliger, 1985a. See Also; Blakely, "Gooler," Needleman, Thomas). And even when attendance is not compulsory there's a frenzy about getting involved in adult education classes that is so well illustrated by the many seminars and workshops that elicit the complaint of "seminar stiffness" from characters in Lily Tomlin's great production The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe (Wagner). What we are faced with today is a massive over¬emphasis on education as the panacea for all our ills (Needleman). But none of the education programs are solving the social ills for which they are prescribed. The tough question is why? And the even tougher question is; Can we find ways of getting beyond this "mass superstition" that will be equalitarian (Eisler, p. 206, footnote 10), democratic, and spiritually honorable?
"Knowledge for the sake of knowledge! Truth for truth's sake! That is inhuman," said the Spanish philosopher Unamuno. "Why do I want to know whence I came and whither I am going . . . and the meaning of it all? Because I do not want to die utterly . . .If I am to die altogether, then nothing makes any sense" (Unamuno. See Also; Arendt (1971), Gelderman, Kerber, Maimonides, Stanley).
Have we come full circle back to Plato in the search for the meaning of "knowledge for its own sake"? Close, but not quite, because Plato, though he writes of the need to be "sharing in immortality" believes it can only happen if we exercise our "intellect more than any other part" (Plato, Timeus, p. 513),
But Unamuno asks, "Is pure thought possible, thought without consciousness of self, without personality? Is pure knowledge possible, knowledge without feeling, without that kind of materiality which feeling lends to it? Is not thought somehow felt, and do we not feel ourselves in the act of knowing and willing? . . . For the present let us agree on this intense suspicion that the longing not to die . . . constitutes the affective basis of all knowledge and the personal inner point of departure for any and all human philosophy" (Unamuno, pp. 32-34, 36-37, 41-42).
Is it possible that computers are simply a modern technological substitute for "philosophy"? Instead of "knowledge for its own sake" is it now to be "computers for computers sake"? Unamuno points to philosophy as the way for people to deal with the "longing not to die"? In this sense, have computers become for some people the path to a "liberal education" philosophy in the last years of the 20th century?
Joseph Weizenbaum is one of the inventors of computer technology. In his book Computer Power and Human Reason, Weizenbaum concludes; "The dependence on computers is merely the most recent — and most extreme -- example of how people rely on technology in order to escape the burden of acting as independent agents; it helps them avoid the task of giving meaning to life and pursuing what is truly valuable" (Weizenbaum, p. 49).
Many people recognize that the living word is the real value in a book. But is the current attachment to the computer merely the most recent excessive attempt to find value in the inanimate, as some in liberal education have tried to find sacred meaning in certain inanimate physical objects called books, great as they may be?
In adult education the attitude toward liberal education seems to have changed a lot in the past thirty years. Administrators and other leaders in adult ed used to make fine-sounding speeches about the wonders of the liberal arts or the humanities but few do these days.
"'What are the humanities, and why do they mean anything to us here in the last decade[sl of the 20th century?' The debate has been going on for at least 30 years, becoming more agitated and abstract as it steadily loses its meaning. Nobody wants to say, at least for publication, that we live in a society that cares as much about the humanities as it cares about the color of the rain in Tashkent. The study of the liberal arts is one of those appearances that must be kept up, like the belief in the rule of law and the devout observances offered to the doctrines of free enterprise and equal opportunity. By advocating the tepid ideals of 'the graceful amateur' and 'the well-rounded man' the universities make of humanism a pious and wax-faced thing. Works of art and literature become ornaments preserved, like bank notes or trust funds, in the vaults of an intellectual museum. ... If it becomes necessary to display the finery of learning, the corporation can hire a speechwriter or send its chairman to the intellectual haberdashers at the Aspen Institute. Education is a commodity, like Pepsi-Cola or alligator shoes" (Lapham, pp. 20-21. See also Cheney, Garvey, Kidder, Olson, Power, Schroth, Sykes).
UNIVERSITY OF LONDON
III. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
In comparison with "knowledge for its own sake" as the emblem of the liberal education image, the Western origin of "knowledge is power" as the age of computers motto is much simpler to trace. It's right there in Bartlett's, Francis Bacon first wrote it in the year 1597. But what Bacon meant by the statement and how subsequent authors interpreted it is much more difficult to trace. And along the way to finding some answers I ran across a surprising source for one view of the phrase's Eastern origin.
In his 1597 essay, "Of Heresies," Bacon defends the principle, "You err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God." He feels the heresies that deny the power of God are the worst kind. Among these is the heresy of believing in free will. Heretics who believe this, Bacon writes "give a wider range to the knowledge of God than to His power; or rather to that part of God's power (for knowledge is power) whereby He knows."
It’s clear that here Bacon is speaking of God's knowledge and power -- omniscience and omnipotence. In later works he writes inconsistently of human knowledge and power as either synonymous or nearly the same, a very significant difference if there is going to still be room for doubt and questioning. (Novum Organum I, III, and New Organon. Book 2, Aphorisms 1-11. See Also: Arendt (1969), Bell, Birnbaum, Blakely, Griffiths, Harrington, Herodotus, Samuel Johnson, Kennedy, Miller, Mumford, Needleman, Hye, Pagels, Polanyi, Randall, Rosenthal, Watts, Winner).
There are many diverse interpretations of just what goal Bacon has in mind when he exalts human knowledge to a virtually divine level (See Also; Armstrong). It is clear, however, about one end he condemns, as he writes in his Advancement of Learning:
"But the greatest error ... is the mistaking or misplacing of the last or the furthest end of knowledge. For men have entered into a desire of learning and knowledge, sometimes upon natural curiosity and inquisitive appetite, sometimes to entertain their minds with variety and delight; sometimes for ornament and reputation; and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradiction; and most times for lucre [or monetary gain] and profession ... I do not mean, when I speak of use and action, that end ... of applying of knowledge to lucre and profession; for I am not ignorant how much that diverts and interrupts the prosecution and advancement of knowledge" (pp. 16-17 Great Books # 30).
If those who literally profit the most from the age of computers would connect Bacon's warning with their pet slogan of his — "knowledge is power" — our society would be in much different and certainly much better shape today (Armstrong, Belsie, Butcher, Clarke, Coffin, "Computers," Day (1920), Elmer-Dewitt, Ellis, Etzioni-Halevy, Illich, Nowlen, Polanyi, Rifkin, Roszak (1981), Ruben, Satin, Streibel, Teich, "Too Much," Vatts (1950), Winner).
"Bacon has been eulogized as the originator of the concept of the modern research institute, a philosopher of industrial science, the inspiration behind the Royal Society, and as the founder of the inductive method by which all people can verify for themselves the truths of science by reading nature's book" (Merchant, p. 169. See Also; Abbott, Cobb, Epstein, Farrington, Luxembourg, Pagels, Paterson, Vickers, Whitney).
But in her provocative work The Death of Nature written here at the University of Wisconsin, Carolyn Merchant states: "From the perspective of nature, women, and the lower orders of society there emerges a less favorable image of Bacon and a critique of his program as ultimately benefiting the middle-class male entrepreneur. . . . 'The new man of science' [writes Bacon] must not think that the 'inquisition of nature is in any part interdicted or forbidden,' Nature must be 'molded' by the mechanical arts. The 'searchers and spies of nature' are to discover her plots and secrets. This method, so readily applicable when nature is denoted by the female gender, degraded and made possible the exploitation of the natural environment" (p. 169).
"In her analysis of these statements Merchant points out that Bacon used the traditional image of nature as a female and that his advocacy of torturing nature's secrets from her with the help of mechanical devices is strongly suggestive of the widespread torture of women in the witch trials of the early l7th century" (Capra, p. 223).
I located a surprising source for one possibly eccentric view of an Eastern origin of "knowledge is power" in a recent book called The Fifth Generation: Artificial Intelligence and Japan's Computer Challenge to the World. The authors state; "As everybody knows, knowledge is power. Machines that can amplify human knowledge will amplify every dimension of power. . . . About the 4th century B.C., a certain Sun Tzu wrote a brief treatise called The Art of War, , . . Centuries later, his treatise was consulted by Chairman Mao and memorized in its entirety by officers of the Japanese Imperial Navy in World War II; a quote from it opens a U.S. Army field manual of the 1980s that marks the first significant change in army field tactics since the U.S. Civil War. Knowledge, says Sun Tzu, is power and permits the wise sovereign and the benevolent general to attack without risk, conquer without bloodshed, and accomplish deeds surpassing all others" (Feigenbaum & McCorduck, pp, 8-9). However, the version I consulted introduced by a Brigadier General calls it "The oldest military treatise in the world" and translates the Chinese this way: "If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles" (Sun Tzu Vu, p. 51).
Sun Tzu was not analogizing from the knowledge or power of a personal God as Bacon was. He derived his view from a narrow interpretation of The Tao or the Way subtly distinct from a view of an impersonal Godhead; "By the Tao," says Sun Tzu, "I mean that which causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, unto death" (Sun Tzu, Grazia, p. 321). So it appears that in both the West and the East the slogan "knowledge is power" concerns power over an enemy, either "Mother Nature" or a military foe.
IV. THE AGE OF THE COMPUTER
The topic of this convocation is "Liberal Education in The Age of the Computer" not "The Age of the Computer and the Place of Liberal Education in It" so I'm emphasizing questions related to the humanities, but it's important to spend a few minutes on the computer age and common conceptions about it (See Also: Ellis).
One of the most common conceptions is that the computer age represents a period of extremely rapid technological change with constant explosions of knowledge going on around us all the time. One authority claims that "Information is not merely exploding, it is undergoing fission" (Lacey, p. 985).
But Brian Winston, the Dean of Mass Communication Studies at Penn State University 'believes; "It would probably surprise the vast majority of people on this planet, Western people especially, to learn that it has been 102 years since television was first patented. . . . Technology progresses slowly; or, more accurately, technology progresses much more slowly than is commonly assumed. . . . The historical record does not support the proposition that technological change is at all fast. Nor is it possible to sustain the contention that it is getting faster" (Winston (1987), pp. 190-192).
Specifically in regard to the computer, Winston states: "The received history of the computer selectively downplays the lateness of its development and the comparative slowness of its diffusion. For, even by the most conservative of measures, we are now entering the fifth decade of the so-called computer age. . . . There is with the computer, then, exactly "the same mystery as with the invention of television; the puzzle has less to do with why the device appeared when it did but rather why it did not appear very much earlier" (Winston (1966), pp. 103-104).
Another common conception deals with what is often called the "monopoly of knowledge" — scientific-technical knowledge, that is — in the hands of the power elite. "This 'monopoly of knowledge' is not even dented when its owners say they are ready to offer anyone requesting them the tapes of their data banks, and to guarantee access to all the information in their possession. It is not a matter of this. The real problem lies in placing under discussion, and thus submitting to a rigorous skeptical questioning, the general conception that lies beneath the production and storing of data through computers and their tapes. The monopoly of knowledge does not so much refer to specific information, more or less fragmentary, but rather to the . . . conceptual apparatus underlying it, and its inevitable criteria of selection" (Ferrarotti, (1988) pp. 28-29).
MIT’S Joseph Weizenbaum, (quoted above) once "the high priest of artificial intelligence" now the "turncoat of the computer revolution," concludes; "My own view is that we cannot recover [from technological intoxication] without the help of a miracle. That's what I think it will take. By a miracle I do not mean bread falling out of the sky. I mean the sort of thing that happened when Rosa Parks refused to leave the front of the bus in Alabama and ignited the civil-rights movement" (Long, p. 78).
Relating the issue to liberal education, Weizenbaum adds; "The teacher of computer science-is himself subject to the enormous temptation to be arrogant because his knowledge is somehow 'harder' than that of his humanist colleagues. But the hardness of knowledge available to him is no advantage at all. His knowledge is merely less ambiguous and therefore, like his computer languages, less expressive of reality." (Weisenbaum, p. 279).
"The 'increasing entropy' (Wiener, p. 304) of the scientific ethic , . . has escorted a sense that the cure for the problems of technology is more technology (McDermott, (1969b)). [Just as the cure for the problems of education is more education.] Technology, whether in education, commerce, government, or industry, is envisaged commonly as a self-correcting system. This is the altruistic ameliorative image of a gifted 'intellectual technology* (Bell, p. 26) rising to any challenge, except, perhaps, its own" (Williams, p. 10).
I told a friend who teaches a course on computer applications to students in the UW School of Agriculture that I hoped to make this point in this talk: That about the most we can hope for at the present time is to see an ambivalent attitude toward computers develop instead of the completely positive one in the universities, the media, and the establishment generally. She replied that such mixed feelings are already all around us. Perhaps that's true privately, but as a public; matter of significant discussion, I doubt it. Just before I talked to my friend I looked in the large computer book section of the University Book Store for a copy of the Weizenbaum book. It was nowhere to be found though it's listed as being there in the store's files. There were hundreds of books in the section but I couldn't find any raising questions about computers.
If indeed we're suffering from too much education, then there is no educational program at present that will cure the current computer mania. That is not a pessimistic conclusion. It is simply a reaffirmation that people are more than the sum of the environmental impacts on them, and that heredity is a greatly oversimplified way of characterizing the root spiritual strength that dwells within us all.
"Is lifelong learning, abetted by microcomputers, to unfold as lifelong boredom?" (Williams). The great theologian Tillich says "boredom is rage spread thin." "Perhaps the microcomputers will save time principally for those who already have too much" (Williams). Or perhaps the rage that Tillich uncovers in boredom will surface through more healthy and productive paths.
V. THE UNITY OF THE EAST ATO THE WEST
The East may offer a corrective to the belief that learning and gaining knowledge is always good, a critical perspective neglected but not completely ignored in the West. That it isn't always wise to pursue knowledge for its own sake or for any sake is touched on in only a few places in Western literature (But see Rosenthal for different views based on Islamic ideas).
Probably the most prominent in the West is in the Old Testament of the Bible. In Genesis where Adam and Eve are eternally punished for defying Jehovah's orders to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (see Eisler, and Lindsay). Could such a Judeo-Christian injunction explain why the growth of science is supposedly predicated on the moral neutrality of its technological discoveries? (Satin, Winner).
Also in one place the great philosopher Kant presents a negative view. In his Fundamentals of the Metaphysic of Morals. Kant says: "Knowledge may turn out to be a sharper eye to reveal to human beings the more horrible but unavoidable evils now hidden from them . . . and to intensify their desires which already cause them great concern." Kant may have been influenced by what is said in another place in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes (1:18); "For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow" (in Wei, pp. 209-210).
A very powerful critique of knowledge appears in a poem by the current Poet Laureate of the United States, Howard Nemerov. His "To David, About His Education" ends;
... I don't know what you will do with the mean annual rainfall
Or Plato's Republic, or the calorie content
Of the Diet of Warms, such things are said to be
Good for you, and you will have to learn them
In order to become one of the grown-ups
Who sees invisible things neither steadily or whole,
But keeps gravely the grand confusion of the world
Under his hat, which is where it belongs,
And teaches small children to do this in their turn (See Also; Crane).
But questioning the value of continually pursuing knowledge is much more common in the East. For instance in the legendary ancient work of the 5th century B.C. Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu. His Tao Teh Ching has been translated more times than any other work except the Bible and is the second biggest seller next to the Bible (Ohliger, 1985c). Here are a few of Lao Tzu's remarks about knowledge in some of the 81 brief passages that make up the work;
"When knowledge and wisdom arise, There is great hypocrisy" (# 18).
"Forget knowledge, And you will remember all you need to know" (# 19).
"The more you study, The less you know" (.# 47).
"The scholar needs to know more and more each day. The follower of the way needs to know less and less each day. By lessening knowledge you arrive at serenity" (# 48).
"You will come to know by unknowing, Regaining what everyone else is missing" (# 64).
And this one of Lao Tzu's that I find the most thought and feeling provoking:
With mere instruction in command, So that people understand
Less than they know, woe is the land;
But happy the land that is ordered so
That they understand more than they know" (# 65),
Here's an explanation of the approach of Lao Tzu and other similar Eastern philosophies prepared by a man whose "childhood was influenced by the classical ways of the Orient" (Siu, p. 9), but grew up to became a director of scientific research. It's in a book called The Tao of Science, published by MIT Press: "Knowledge, as we understand it in the West, involves the selection of a certain event or quality as the object of knowledge. Sage-knowledge [or no-knowledge] does not do so. ... At the higher level of cognizance, the sage forgets distinctions between things. ... An important difference exists between 'having-no' knowledge and having 'no-knowledge.' The former is merely a state of ignorance; the latter is one of ultimate enlightenment and universal sensibilities. To the confirmed rationalist, no-knowledge may appear to be the hugger-muggery of the mystagogue. Nevertheless, it is precisely its ineffability that lends force to its reality. The mysteries of nature appear to be mysteries only to those who refuse to participate in them. , . . [Participation takes place] by widening [personal] awareness of the vastness of nature through ungrudging communion with her. . . . Wisdom is the artful way in which rational knowledge, intuitive knowledge, and no-knowledge are mastered, handled, integrated, and applied" (Siu, pp 75-78 &s 84).
The Tao of Science is only one of many attempts to take the first faltering steps toward a re-unification of the East and the West (See also: Lee, Watts (1950)). Another is in the published dialogues between the Indian philosopher Krishnamurti and the quantum physicist David Bohm. In one of these Krishnamurti asks, "So we are saying that knowledge also withers the brain?" Bohm replies, "Yes, when it is repetitious and becomes mechanical." And later in response to another question from Krishnamurti, Bohm states: "I think to a certain extent we have to drop our knowledge. You see, knowledge may be valid up to a point, and then it ceases to be valid. You could say, [Bohm concludes], that our civilization is collapsing because of too much knowledge" (Krishnamurti & Bohm, p. 182. See also: Shah (1987)).
VI. CONCLUSION AND QUESTIONS
I have sprinkled this talk with questions that concern me and perhaps you. Instead of concluding this talk with a ringing peroration, I'm going to restate some of the questions I've tried to raise, in hopes that they will help stimulate discussion in the remaining time,
First, is it possible that computers are simply a modern technological substitute for "philosophy"? Instead of "knowledge for its own sake" is it now "computers for computers sake"? Have computers become for some people the path to a "liberal education" philosophy in the last years of the 20th century?
Second, many people recognize that the living word is the real value in a book. But is the current attachment to the computer merely the most recent attempt to find value in the inanimate, as some in liberal education have tried to find sacred meaning in certain inanimate physical objects called books, great as they may be?
And finally; What we are faced with today is a massive over-emphasis on education, both compulsory and what is still called "voluntary." The tough question is why? And the even tougher question is; Can we find ways of getting beyond this "mass superstition" that will be equalitarlan (Eisler, ftn 10, p. 206), democratic, and spiritually honorable?
VII. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND NOTES
Abbott, Edwin A. Francis Bacon: An Account of His Life and Works. London: Sacmillan & Co., 1885. "Next to the importance attached by Bacon to the Bible as the only source of Unity, his denunciation of 'terrestrial hope' claims principal attention. Himself on of the most sanguine and hopeful of mankind, Bacon would banish hope from ail matters relating to life on earth, and relegate it to expectations of heaven. About earthly matters men should not have hope, but only entertain reasonable anticipations. Idly do poets fable that Hope was left in Pandora's casket to be the antidote against all diseases; rather it was itself the worst disease of all, making the mind, ' light, frothy, unequal, wandering. ... By how much purer is the sense of things present, without infection or tincture of imagination, by so much wiser and better is the soul.' To the same tenor run the remarks on Hope in the Essays; it is a habit by which rulers can deceive the seditious into peace; 'the politic and artificial nourishing and entertaining of hopes, and carrying men from hopes to hopes, is one of the best antidotes against the poison of discontentment'" (p. 430).
Annan, Noel. "Gentlemen vs. Players," New York Review of Books. Sept. 29, 1988), pp. 63-69. (Review-essay on The Pride and the Fall: The Dream and Illusion of Britain as a Great Nation. By Corelli Barnett (New York; Free Press, 1988). "There is indeed a syndrome familiar to those who listen to the murmurings of British universities. It is to the effect that at any given time they are doing splendid work but they must be careful not to be seduced from their true role of pursuing knowledge for its own sake" <pOn Violence. New York: Harcourt Brace & World, 1969. "Power corresponds to the human ability not just to act [AS IT DOES WITH GOD?] but to act in concert. Power is never the property of an individual; it belongs to a group and remains in existence only so long as the group keeps together" (p. 44).
Arendt, Hannah. (1971) "Thinking and Moral Considerations; A Lecture." Social Research. Vol. 38, No. 3. Fall 1971. "The activity of knowing is no less a world-building activity than the building of houses. The inclination or the need to think, on the contrary, even if aroused by none of the time-honored metaphysical, unanswerable 'ultimate questions,' leaves nothing so tangible behind, nor can it be stilled by the allegedly definite insights of 'wise men.' The need to think can be satisfied only through thinking. . . . The whole history of philosophy, which tells us so much about the objects of thought and so little about the process of thinking itself, is shot through with the intramural warfare between man's (sic) common sense, this highest, sixth sense that fits our five senses into a common world and enables us to orient ourselves in it, and man's faculty of thinking by virtue of which he willfully removes himself from it. . . . Thinking is resultless by nature. . . . There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous, but nihilism is not its product. Nihilism is but the other side of conventionalism. . . . However, non-thinking, which seems so recommendable a state for political and moral affairs, also has its dangers. By shielding people against the dangers of examination, it teaches them to hold fast to whatever the prescribed rules of conduct may be at a given time in a given society. . . . Thinking as such does society little good, much less than the thirst for knowledge in which it is used as an instrument for other purposes. . . . Its political and moral significance comes out only in those rare moments in history when 'Things fall apart; the center cannot hold. ' ... At these moments, thinking ceases to be a marginal affair in political matters. When everybody is swept away unthinkingly by what everybody else does and believes in, those who think are drawn out of hiding because of their refusal to join is conspicuous and thereby becomes a kind of action. . . . The manifestation of the wind of thought is no knowledge; it is the ability to tell right from wrong, beautiful from ugly. And this indeed may prevent catastrophes, at least for myself, in the rare moments when the chips are down." (pp. 421-422, 425-426, 435-436, 445-446).
Armstrong, Jeffrey. The Biliary Bible. Santa Cruz, CAi Any Key Press, 1987. Available from Saint Silicon, Inc., 1603 Mission St., #174, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Telephone: (408) 458-0213. Includes "The Ten Commands, The Keyboard Prayer, The Binattltudes, Hail Memory, Data Grace, The Sermon on the Monitor, and much more." Published for The Church of Heuristic Information Processing <cThe Coming of Post-Industrial Society. New York: Basic Books, 1973. "Against the dreams of the early technocrats such as Saint-Simon, who hoped that the savants would rule, it becomes clear that political decisions are the central ones in the society and that the relationship of knowledge to power is essentially a subservient one" <ppChristian Science Monitor. January 22, 1987. "Computerization has speeded up several office procedures, such as accounting, letter writing, and travel reservations. But when [Stephen Roach, senior economist at Morgan Stanley, the investment firm] calculated white-collar productivity, he found, virtually no improvement since the 1960s" (p. 3).
Birnbaum, Norman. The Radical Renewal: The Politics of Ideas in Modern America. New York; Pantheon Books, 1988. "Christopher Lasch ... in hisNew Radicalism in America examined the indigenous historical sources of the excessive integration of intellect and power in modern America, and made the case that our difficulties did not begin only in 1945" p. 202).
Blakely, Robert J. and Ivan M. Lappin. Knowledge Is Power To Control Power: New Institutional Arrangements and Organizational Patterns for Continuing Education. Syracuse, HY: Syracuse University Publications in Continuing Education, 1969. "The thesis of this report is that social movements are carrying continuing education into central places of American society as an instrument of organized knowledge applied to the solution of major problems. . . . Man (sic) now has such power and power to get more power that he is responsible for himself, Earth and beyond Earth. What he does with his power will determine what kind of a future he will have; the alternatives include having no future at all. , . How did we get here? The answer is ' through learning. ' ... He got into the impasse through learning. He must get out of it through learning. ... He can rise above the barriers only by learning how to use power with physical nature and with our fellow man. To advance through this new dimension calls upon man to take a new view of himself and to act upon a new set of concepts" (pp. 3, 5, 6).
Bloom, Allan. The Closing of the American Mind; How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1987, The latest of the thousands of reviews of the book which has now sold almost a million copies and interviews with the author appears in Time Magazine (Interview; "A Most Uncommon Scold." October 17, 1968, pp. 74-76). I reviewed it for Adult & Continuing Education Today ("Beyond Left and Right." August 31, 1987) and prepared a five page, 22 item annotated bibliography on the topic "Universities: Elites, and/or Communities of Scholars, and/or?" which includes comments on the book from Tom Hayden, Russell Jacoby, Harvey Mansfield, Richard Rorty, and Bloom himself. It's available from Basic Choices for one dollar. "Civilization or, to say the same thing, education is the taming or domestication of the soul's raw passions — not suppressing or excising them, which would deprive the soul of its, energy — but forming and informing them as art. The goal of harmonizing the enthusiastic part of the soul with what develops later, the rational part, is perhaps impossible to attain. But without it, humans can never be whole. Music, or poetry, which is what music becomes as reason emerges, always involves a delicate balance between passion and reason, and, even in the highest and most developed forms — religious, warlike (sic) and erotic — that balance is always tipped, if ever so slightly, toward the passionate. . , . Hence, for those who are interested in psychological health, music is the center of education, both for giving the passions their due and for preparing the soul for the unhampered use of reason. The centrality of such education was recognized by all the ancient educators. It is hardly noticed today that in Aristotle's Politics the most important passages about the best regime concern musical education, or that Poetics is an appendix to the Politics. . . . But those who do not notice the role of music in Aristotle and despise it in Plato went to school with Hobbes, Locke and Smith, where such considerations have become unnecessary. The triumphant Enlightenment rationalism thought that it had discovered other ways to deal with the irrational part of the soul, and that reason needed less support from it. Only in those critics of Enlightenment and rationalism, Rousseau and Nietzsche, does music return, and they were the most musical of philosophers" (pp. 71-73). [After quoting the above, I wrote to Helen Modra in a letter dated May 25, 1987; If I were "into" making "programs" I would immediately look for ways to combine reading and discussing Great Books or other seminal works with some kind of musical experience — maybe through Kenna del Sol (see below) type things or those explored in George Leonard's The Silent Pulse (see below). When I was involved with the Great Books discussion leader training through libraries, there was a raging argument about the overemphasis on the intellectual in the Great Books groups and the underemphasis on it in group dynamics, sensitivity training, etc. I always believed they should be combined in some way -- plus the "action" component) but never ran across these points (not even from the author himself who I took a course from). Am going on at some length partly because of your remarks about your interest in music and your work with librarians. Did you ever dream about combining music, library, and adult education work in something like the above? What do you think of the idea? How about this, for example; Libraries = reading, adult education = learning, music = loving? Could the balance of reading, learning, and loving avoid the excesses of each in isolation?]
Butcher, Lee. Accidental Millionaire: The Rise and Fall of Steve Jobs at Apple Computer. New York; Paragon House, 1988. "Apple reached the decision it would target a group of people it called 'knowledge workers.' A less flattering description used to delineate them was 'spread sheet junkies.' Apple believed there were twenty-five million knowledge workers in the U.S. who could benefit from using a Macintosh. This is how Apple described this market: 'Knowledge workers are professionally trained individuals who are paid to process information and ideas into plans, reports, analyses, memos, and budgets. They generally sit at desks. They generally do the same generic problem solving work irrespective of age, industry, company size, or geographic location. Some have limited computer experience — perhaps an introductory programming class in college — but most are computer naive. Their use of a personal computer will not be of the intense eight-hour-per-day keyboard variety. Rather they bounce from one activity to another; from meeting to phone call; from memo to budgets; from mail to meeting. Like the telephone, their personal computer must be extremely powerful yet extremely easy to use'" (pp. 144-145).
Capra, Fritjof. Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations with Remarkable People. New York; Simon & Schuster, 1988. "Schumacher went on to point out the difference between what is called 'science for understanding' and 'science for manipulation.' The former, he explained, has often been called wisdom. Its purpose is enlightenment and liberation of the person, while the purpose of the latter is power. During the Scientific Revolution in the 17th century, Schumacher continued, the purpose of science drifted from wisdom to power. 'Knowledge itself is power,' he said, quoting Francis Bacon, and he observed that since that time the name 'science' remained reserved for manipulative science" (p. 213).
Carlin, David R., Jr. "Cultural 'Keep-Away': The Trickle Down Theory of Great Ideas." Commonweal. Vol. 114, July IT, tW. jsgp. 408-409. "I hold what may be called the Trickle Down Theory of Cultural Deprivation. When society's elites . . . deny that there are or ought to be such things as Great Words, Great Books, or Great Ideas, this trickles down to the young men and women in the middling ranks of society, where it manifests itself as a refusal to believe in the value of any words, books, or ideas which do not have obvious utilitarian value. If knowledge of the poets won't put money in my pocket or help me find a good spouse, what good is it?"
Cheney, Lynne V. Humanities in America: A Report to the President, the Congress, and the American People. Washington, DC; National Endowment for the Humanities, Sept. 1988. [I could find no mention of "the age of the computer" or even any use of the word "computer" in this document.] "In the academy, the humanities have also become arcane in ways that many find deeply troubling. . . . Some scholars reduce the study of the humanities to the study of politics, arguing that truth — and beauty and excellence — are not timeless matters, but transitory notions, devices used by some groups to perpetuate 'hegemony' over others. . . . With so many knowing so much about the smallest details, the generalist is almost sure to be challenged. . . The remarkable blossoming of the humanities in the public sphere is one of the least noted, though most important, cultural developments of the last few decades. . . . Public programming in the humanities is now so substantial and extensive that it has become a kind of parallel school, one that has grown up outside established institutions of education. . . . The unrestrained diversity that is one of its greatest attributes is also the reason why the parallel school is not an alternative school. The parallel school cannot provide the coherent plan of study, the overarching vision of connectedness, that our schools and colleges can. . . . Our society's understanding of the humanities ultimately depends on colleges and universities" (pp. 7, 9, 23, 27, 28, 32).
Chourasia, H.L. A Comparative Study of the Philosophy of Josiah Royce & Sadhakrishnan. New Delhi: Oriental Publishers, 1979,
Clarke, I.F. The Pattern of Expectation! 1644-2001. London: Jonathan Cape, 1979. "The analogue of Big brother in American futuristic fiction is the all-powerful computer. It represents the worst elements in a malign system of total control which has to be destroyed, or from which the individual has to escape in order to discover a lost personality. So, the computer becomes the object of the greatest detestation—EPICAC XIV in Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano , EMSIAC in Bernard Wolfe's Limbo '90 , WESCAC in John Barth's Giles Goat-Boy [ 1966].... The more the world changes the more it grows worse—that is the principal lesson of recent futuristic fiction" (p, 277).
Cobb, John B., Jr. "Ecology, Science, and Religion: Toward a Postmodern Worldvlew." Chapter in David Ray Griffin, ed. The Reenchantment of Science: Postmodern Proposals. Albany, NY; State University of New York, 1988. Cobb teaches at the Claremont Graduate School, School of Theology. "Three movements struggled for supremacy during the 17th century: the fading power of Aristotelian philosophy, the continuing power of the 'magical' vision, and the emerging power of mechanistic thinking. The latter eventually won, and accordingly history has been written as if this were the scientific theory. The actual evidence, long-resisted and even concealed by the advocates of the mechanistic world view, is that the magical movement provided the initial context for the rise of modern science. This movement drew on the traditions of Pythagoras, Plato, Neoplatonism, Hermetic mysticism, and the Cabala. It was fascinated by number, and it turned to mathematics and science as the earlier Italian Renaissance had not. Ficino, Paracelsus, and Bruno were among it early leaders. It inspired also Copernicus, Kepler, and Francis Bacon. Whereas the Aristotelian tradition had emphasized the teleological element in all things, the magical tradition went much further: it sought to ally itself with spiritual forces immanent in all things so as to bend them to human use and control. For it, nature was alive in spirit, and the explanations of natural events were to be found in these immanent spiritual forces. These forces could act at a distance as well as in proximity" (pp. 102-103).
Coffin, Tristram. "PYI." The Washington Spectator. Vol. 14, Ko. 16, Sept. 1, 1988. "Another fact of life that mother never told us; two scientists at the National Institutes of Health have reached the 'disturbing conclusion' that a third of the scientific papers being published contain misleading statements or departed from accepted scientific practices in their research" (p. 4).
"Computers as Poison: All Panaceas Become Poison." Special issue of Whole Earth Review. No. 44, Dec,, 1984/Jan., 1985. Includes: "Monkey Trap: Thinking Machines Grab Our Attention and Won't Let Go," by Birrell Walsh; "Biting the Hand that Feeds: Ungrateful Wretches Criticize Munificent Benefactor," by Stewart Brand; "The Ambivalent Miseries of Personal Computing; Haste Seduction, and Trivialization Await Computer Users," by Art Kleiner; "Six Grave Doubts About Computers; We Are Blinded into Acceptance by a Few Paltry Benefits," by Jerry Mander; "Mythinformation; Computers Promise the Fountains of Utopia, But Only Deliver a Flood of Information," by Langdon Winner; "The Back Office; Post-Industrial Factories and Electronic Sweatshops," by Peter Calthorpe; and the great short story by B.M. Porster, written in 1909, "The Machine Stops."
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. The Bugbear of Literacy. London: Dennis Dobson Ltd., 1947. Published in the United States by John Day as Am I My Brother's Keeper? "'East and West' imports a cultural rather than a geographical antithesis: an opposition of the traditional or ordinary way of life that survives in the East to the modern and irregular way of life that now prevails in the West. It is because such an opposition as this could not have been felt before the Renaissance that we say that the problem is one that presents only accidentally in terms of geography; it is one of times much more than places. For if we leave out of account the 'modernistic' and individual philosophies of today, and consider only the great tradition of the magnanimous philosophers, whose philosophy was also a religion that had to be lived if it was to be understood, it will soon be found that the distinctions of culture in East and West, or for that matter North and South, are comparable only to those of dialects; all are speaking what is essentially one and the same spiritual language, employing different words, but expressing the same ideas, and very often by means of identical idioms. Otherwise stated, there is a universally intelligible language, not only verbal but also visual, of the fundamental ideas on which the different civilizations have been founded. There exists, then, in this commonly accepted axiology or body of first principles a common universe of discourse; and this provides us with the necessary basic of communication, understanding, and agreement, and so for effective cooperation in the application of commonly recognized spiritual values to the solution of contingent problems of organization and conduct."
Cotton, Web. Letter to the author, dated October 6, 1988. Web and I worked together in the 1950s on the Liberal Arts Discussion programs at UCLA, funded by the Ford Foundation. He is now a professor at California State College in Los Angeles; ". . .My own feeling is that the phrase "knowledge for its own sake" — which was popularized as you know, by Bob Hutchins and Mort Adler and the Great Books people — leads to a distorted, even perverted understanding of what liberal education is all about. What happened in Great Books programs — and those Liberal Arts Discussion Programs -- was people sitting around 'intellectualizing' about what they had read, but they — in most cases — were not testing these ideas in their own life. As John Dewey pointed out ideas are hypotheses that we need to test in the laboratory of our own life — experience -- if we are to discover their meaning. Socrates' life was centered around living the virtuous life, the Good life, so his dialogues were means to an end, notends in themselves (as in too many Liberal Arts type programs). As you can see, this is one of my buttons. I feel the Humanities, Philosophy, Liberal Arts have all been short-changed by too many of the practitioners, because they have forgotten what Socrates, Dante, Shakespeare, Goethe, Tolstoy, Heidegger, on and on, were all about, summed up in the phrase of Parmenides, 'Thinking and Being are one.' And Heidegger, 'You can never be more than you know' (paraphrase). We need to shake people out of their conventional ways of thinking about concepts like knowledge, truth, education, intelligence, creativity, etc. . . . This tails: on knowledge is another opportunity to challenge the 'conventional wisdom,' I think the real contrast is between Socrates and Bacon. I agree with Heidegger that Plato and Aristotle moved philosophy in the direction of metaphysics — remote from the day to day lived experience — taking it out of the marketplace into academe. I see Socrates in the existential-ontological tradition — St. Augustine, Pascal, Rousseau, Nietzsche, Heidegger. While Bacon leads ultimately to a B.P. Skinner. But, we need both traditions — all traditions. The challenge is to resist the temptation to distort these traditions -- then, they lose their integrity and with it the power to challenge our thinking — the dialogical, dialectical process. ..."
Crane, Stephen (1871-1900). "A Learned Man." One of the few poems by the American novelist; A learned man came to me once./ He said, 'I know the way — come.'/ And I was overjoyed at this./ Together we hastened./ Soon, too soon, were we/ Where my eyes were useless,/ And I knew not the ways of my feet,/ I clung to the hand of my friend/ But at last he cried, 'I am lost.i"
Day, Clarence. (1920) This Simian World. New York: Knopf, 1920. "Knowledge is power. Unfortunate dupes of this saying will keep on reading, ambitiously, till they have stunned their native initiative, and made their thoughts weak."
Day, Clarence, (1921) "The Three Tigers, in The Crow's Nest. New York: Knopf, 1921. "Information's pretty thin stuff, unless mixed, with experience."
Donaldson, Sam. Hold On, Mr. President! New York; Fawcett Crest, 1988. "The time to really question something strongly is when everybody says it’s true" (p. 69).
Einstein, Albert. The World as I See It. Quoted on p. ii of Leo Rosten's Treasury of Jewish Quotations. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972. "The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice, and the desire for personal independence — these are the features of Jewish tradition which make me thank my stars that I belong to it."
Elsler, Diane. The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987. "In this book equalitarian is used instead of the more conventional egalitarian. The reason is that egalitarian has traditionally only described equality between men and men (as the works of Locke, Rousseau, and other 'rights of man’ philosophers, as well as modern history, evidence). Equalitarian describes social relations in a partnership society where women and men (and 'masculine' and 'feminine') are accorded equal value. This is why this usage is increasing among feminists" (p. 206, footnote 10). Also see these statements of hers for which she cites as evidence Jane Harrison's book, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion, pp. 646-647. (New York: Arno Press, 1975 (originally published 1903): "Pythagoras was taught ethics by a certain Themistoclea, a priestess of Delphi, . . . Diotema, a priestess of Mantinea, taught Socrates (p. 106). . . . Much of Platonic philosophy ... is based on Pythagorean influences, as well as Orphic symbols, which preserve elements of preandrocratic [equalitarian matriarchal with her own twist] religion and. morality. The Platonic conceptions of an orderly and harmonious universe lying beyond the 'dark cave' of human perception seems to come out of that same tradition (p. 112). . . . Aristotle explicitly stated [in Politics], articulating the foundations of androcratic philosophy and life, just as slaves are naturally meant to be ruled by free men, women are meant to be ruled by men. Anything else violated the observable, and therefore ‘natural' order" (p. 116).
Ellis, Allan B. The Use and Misuse of Computers in Education. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974. "The danger is that we will use computers to compensate for educational problems, thereby never coming to correct these probiexas. . . , Compounding the error entails automating a procedure that is not worth doing at all, even by hand" (Ellis, pp. 47 & 49).
Elmer—DeWitt, Phillip. "Invasion of the Data Snatchers!: A 'Virus' Epidemic Strikes Terror-In the Computer World." Time, Sept. 26, 1988. Time devotes its "cover story" to the hot topic of "computer viruses" (pp. 62-67).
Epstein, Joel J. Francis Bacon: A Political Biography. Athens, OH; Ohio University Press, 1977. "Bacon has been admired as the great philosopher of scientific progress, the first modern mind. ... He has been revered as one of the great minds of Western Civilization, (p. xiii) . . . While he still envisioned scientific and. intellectual progress, he pursued power basically as an end in itself" (p. 163).
Etzioni-Halevy, Eva. The Knowledge Elite and the Failure of Prophecy. London: George Alien & Unwin, 1985. "Western intellectuals are a remarkable group of people. Their means of production are their brains. Their capital is their education. The commodities they produce are knowledge, ideas, and symbols. Their status and prestige rest on convincing others. . . . Their influence has been . . . substantial. And yet , . . they have failed in that their knowledge and advice has itself created problems for society" (pp. 1-2).
Farrlngton, Benjamin. Francis Bacon: Philosopher of Industrial Science. New York: Henry
Schuman, 1949. "As Bacon himself well knew, and has taught us to understand, knowledge is the birth of time" (p. 170). [Note Bacon wrote and essay called "The Masculine Birth of Time" translated in: Farrlngton, Benjamin. The Philosophy of Fra.nc is Bacon. Liverpool, England: Liverpool University Press, 1964,
Feigenbaum, Edward A. and Pamela McCorduck. The Fifth Generation: Artificial Intelligence and Japan's Computer Challenge to the World. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1983.
Ferrarotti, Franco. <1986Five Scenarios for the Year 2000. New York: Greenwood Press,1986. "Collective memory . . . having passed from the memory of popular singers and poets to that of the libraries and printed paper, is finding a new archive, free of dust and papers, an unencumbersome collection of discs and tapes, as greedy as it is discreet, able to warehouse a quantity of information hundreds or thousands of times greater than now lie in library books, to the extent that it is already real to speak of the death of the book, of a real bibliocide, in favor of the electronic library of the future, or of the "library without books. . . . The valued merchandise of the year 2000 will need no passports or customs documents. Information will travel by cables that cross oceans and continents. Theoretically, this will seem a great conquest of democratic egalitarianism and impersonal treatment. In reality, only certain people and groups—the 'potentates' of 'corporate' society—will be able to have access to a power that becomes less visible and less easily recognizable, while the many, the great mass of citizens, what the ancient Greeks disdainfully called the 'hoy polloy' to distinguish them from the few real men, will probably be reduced to the condition of neo-helots" (pp. 70-71 & 87).
Ferrarotti., Franco. (1988) The End of Conversation: The Impact of Mass Media on Modern Society. New York: Greenwood Press, 1988.
Gabor, Dennis. Inventing the Future. New York; Knopf, 1964.
Garvey, John. "The Academy in Bloom: Security & the Disinterested Love of Knowledge." Commonweal. January 29, 1988, pp. 41-42. ", . . One assumption made in [Bloom's] book [see above], and in a lot of other conservative academic writing needs challenging. That is the notion that the academy is a place which until recently . . . was a disinterested guardian of the life of the mind and the best traditions of Western thought, a position now sullied by faddishness and an obsession with the preparation of students for careers. . . . The problem is that the real ancestor of the present day university ... is not the academy of Plato, but the medieval university. Our modern university fixtures — full professorships, academic chairs, endowments, etc. — all descend from this approach to education, which was from the start career-oriented. . . . From the start, the university has sent mixed messages. The life of the mind is worth pursuing for its own sake — but you will be graded on your performance -- and if you do not get the right number of the right kinds of grades, you will not get a job. Professors, guardians of the life of the mind, tell their students that what matters most is the fearless proclamation of the great ideas. But they have arrived at their offices by tailoring their doctoral theses to the whims of senior neurotics in their fields, and by fighting like blood-maddened tigers for the sweet security of tenure through a process which combines fawning with character assassination. . . . Let people who want to pursue subjects for their own sakes do so — without worrying about credentials. . , . What it all comes down to is this; if you care about the love of wisdom, the promotion of higher values, the pursuit of knowledge, for its own sake, the last place to look for it is in places where people make their livings by granting credentials that promise their holders economic success. I have heard professors complain that all their students care about is grades. Who can blame them? The professor cares about tenure, position in the department, and so forth. Wanting to have the institutional security of the university, and the disinterested love of knowledge at the same time, reminds me of what Kierkegaard said about preachers who live in a way which contradicts their message. They tell their congregations that the world's definition of success does not matter, while courting it with all their might. Wanting both the finite and the infinite, he said, is like wanting both to have a mouthful of flour, and to blow."
Gelderman, Carol. Mary McCarthy: A Life. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. "Vassar's 1976 commencement address, which McCarthy delivered, bore the marks of her recent preoccupation with Greek thought [in her work on editing Hannah Arendt's unfinished work — see Arendt above]. In her talk she illustrated the thesis that education should be its own end by focusing her listeners' attention on pre-Socratic and Socratic Athens, periods when 'knowledge of nature and the laws of geometry were the earliest objects of study, but with little sense of practical application, of what could be done with that knowledge.' Among Socrates' students, only Plato was preparing for a career in philosophy. The others talked, discussed, analyzed for the fun of it. And Plato admitted that if philosophy was useful for anything, it was only that it could teach statesmen to govern. But even this was a Socratic heresy, McCarthy pointed out. Knowledge was to be pursued for its own sake, not as a means to same other end" (pp. 322-323).
"Gooler Will Hit Keynote for NUCEA." Extension Ideas. (Publication of University of Wisconsin-Extension) Vol. 4, No. 2, Fail 1988. "These days, it's not what you know but how you learn it. Information technology is changing the future character of teaching and learning, says the keynote speaker at the NUCEA (National University Continuing Education Association) Region IV Annual Conference. Dr. Dennis Gooler, professor, LEPS, Northern Illinois University, understands that while technology forces societal changes, it also gives continuing educators the tools to deal with them. ... As an example of an emerging technology, Gooler cites the mass storage of information in ways never before possible. "Individual learners can gain access to information in ways never before passible. But," he cautions, "people will have to develop new skills to organize and sort that information."
Goodman, Paul. Compulsory Miseducation and the Community of Scholars. New York: Vintage Books, 1964.
Grazia, Sebastian de. Ed. Masters of Chinese Political Thought: From the Beginnings to the Han Dynasty. New York; Viking Press, 1973. "Sun Tzu, that disarming general, wrote the treatise for the times (4th century B.C.) on the art of war. His 13 chapters give a clear picture of how the military man, one of the new class of specialists, looked on that violent world, . . . Japan alone has issued over 100 separate editions. It has found there its most dedicated disciples and was used as a text for the instruction of fighting men as early as 760 A.D. In France it was first published in 1772" (pp. 110, 318-319).
Griffiths, Bede. in Weber, Renee. Dialogue with Scientists and Sages: The Search for Unity. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986. [Father Bede Griffiths converted to Roman Catholicism "and entered a Benedictine monastery, spending his life in study and prayer. Drawn to Indian philosophy and religion, he went to India in 1955. He has lived there ever since."] "In knowledge we receive the forms of things into ourselves: we look out and see the trees, the earth, the sky, and receive these forms into us. We commune with things in knowledge, in consciousness. But in love we go out of ourselves, we surrender ourselves to another, each gives himself to the other but you don't lose yourself in the other, you find yourself. That is the mystery of communion in God and with God — the Father and the Son become a total unity and are yet distinct, and that is true of man and God as well. We are one, and yet we are distinct. There is never total loss of self. In consciousness there is pure identity, but in love there's never pure identity because love involves two, and yet the two become one. That's the great mystery. It's a paradox." (p. 171).
Hapgood, David. The Screwing of the Average Ban: How the Rich Get Richer and You Get Poorer. New York: Bantam Books, 1974. From Chapter 7, titled "Education: Catch-85 and the Arithmetic of the Diploma": "It is the most unusual of screwings. The pirates we have been meeting in other chapters [Banks, stock markets, insurance, lawyers, medicine] rob us of money, but school takes us in another currency; time. Money also, but mainly time. Most extraordinary, the education industry doesn't even intend to screw its victims, and those who administer the treatment in most cases derive no personal benefit from it. It is a crime without a criminal, a used car with a dealer. The infernal machine proceeds with no one in the driver's seat. If the average man looks inside the education machine to identify who's putting it to he, he'll find put no one is there.
In other ways, the education industry resembles the more familiar kinds of hustle. It is financed mainly by third-party payments, and so the average man has little or no say over who gets his money. It is run by experts, and so the average man is not allowed to criticize their performance. It is a monopoly, and so the product is standardized, shoddy and overpriced (though the monopoly cost is expressed in years instead of dollars). The wordnoise that protects education is especially deafening — louder even than the noise that surrounds its two main rivals, government and automobiles.
Education is, most of all, the place that the average man cannot avoid. He may be able to avoid having a checking account, and even owning a car — but hardly anyone escapes school (the rare exceptions occur mainly among the very rich and the very poor). The average man cannot even escape more school: measured by time, school is growing faster than any other occupation, including watching pro football. ... It seems probable that the average man's years in school are growing faster than his life expectancy . . .
When the average man started going to college in great numbers, he set off a kind of arms race in degrees. The diploma has been a good method of rationing privilege. It saved trouble for the personnel department. Instead of having to judge applicants on their merits — trying to pick ten winners out of 200 pieces of paper — personnel simply classified them by diploma and took the ten with bachelor's degrees. This worked well as long as diplomas were scare, but the system broke down when the graduates started marching in by the thousands. This had two consequences distressing to the average man who had paid his four-years on the premise that his sheepskin was also a meal ticket, just as the learn-and-earn propagandists had told him.
First came a glut of diplomas. In one privileged job after another, a growth-maddened education industry turned out more graduates than the market could absorb, . . . Too many diplomas chasing too few jobs also produced an inflation in degree requirements as the personnel department, desperately trying to sort out the crowd, began asking for more schooling for the same jobs. . . .
The education industry's product is still selling well. Although as time goes by each year of school buys less in future earnings, although it is possible to put in all those years and still emerge screwed, people are still patronizing school in increasing numbers. And with good reason: the average man goes to school because it is the only game in town. Like the compulsive gambler, he may know the wheel is fixed, but he plays anyway because he has no alternative. If he goes to school, the odds on the payoff are getting worse, but if he doesn't go . . . he is sure to lose. So he goes.
The average man has no choice, because school has acquired a monopoly over access to well-paid jobs. There are, nowadays, few potentially lucrative occupations he can enter without school credentials. . . . This monopoly, unlike any other, seems to have been acquired without conscious design. Where the Morgans and Rockefellers expended ulcer-making efforts in destroying the capitalist free market, the schoolmen seem to have drifted into their empire. There is no evidence that the education industry's leaders — indeed it does not appear to have any central leadership — stayed up nights scheming ways to stomp their competitors. Nor, for that matter, do the members of the industry profit greatly from their monopoly: most of them, in fact, come out in the red on net screwing, and no great American family fortunes have been won out of school.
The school monopoly was brought about mainly by the efforts of people outside the industry. Do-gooders, observing that some school was good for everybody and a lot was good for a few people, decided that a lot must be good for everybody. Unions saw compulsory education as a way to keep low-priced teenagers off the labor market, and guilds of course saw more school as a means of restricting membership and keeping prices up. Industry had its own reasons for favoring more school. In the 19th century, much of the pressure for compulsory public schooling came from industrialists. Industry figured school would give its future employees their first taste of discipline. Let school break them in, discarding those who refuse to fit, and industry would get — free — a docile labor force (This basic notion, that school should beat us into shape for the assembly line, is today being marketed under the brand name of 'career education.'). Nowadays, with the general growth of hypocrisy, the employers' line is less blunt. More school is needed, we are told, because a modern economy requires more people with advanced skills. Of course that target has already been overshot — the average man stays in school far longer than is needed to acquire the skills involved in the job for which his diploma will qualify him. Besides, the process is exstreamly wasteful. Each industry could train people in the particular skills it needs in a fraction of time it takes schools, including trade schools, to do the job. But this doesn't matter to industry: it has successfully shifted to others the cost of preparing, sorting and grading its labor force, . . .
Despite its peculiarities, the education industry's product is similar to that of other monopolies: over-priced in time, frequently shoddy and undifferentiated. . . .
The industry adopts a benevolent attitude toward the average man. It does not hard-sell its product. Though there is undoubtedly more propaganda for school than for Chevrolets or deodorants, the tone is more genteel than commercial. School is there, after all, for the average man's good — to give him an opportunity his parents never had. As we have seen, there is just enough truth in that statement to make it convincing to the great majority of Americans. The corollary is that if the average man does not stay in school and ends up screwed, it's his fault, not that of the system. He dropped out and became a factory worker when he could have stayed in and become a doctor. This process is know in another kind of con game as 'cooling out the mark.' When two con men finish skinning their victim, or mark, the one who posed as his ally will often stay with the victim to convince him that it's useless to call the cops; that is cooling out the mark. Similarly, the education industry cools out its mark by convincing him he is to blame if he did not grab the brass ring promised him by school. This is another sign of progress in a democratic society. It used to be that the average man was doomed to be a loser simply because he was born in the wrong class: it was the system that did it to him. Sow he is screwed by the shell game of the diploma — and persuaded that it's nobody's fault but his own" (pp. 130-131, 133-134, 136-137, 140, 145-146).
Harrington, Michael. The Politics at God's Funeral: The Spiritual Crisis of Western Civilization. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1983. "The music — not what is said but what is felt, the soundtrack of everyday life — is changing. Nietzsche, who understood Greek society in terms of the transition from Dionysus to Apollo saw that, as we know. And the death of God has indeed pointed toward the death of all the higher values. For hundreds of years those values were, consciously or not, rooted in the assumption of an absolute order in the universe, guaranteed by God. When God and morality and religion were relativized by the new scientific, historical, sociological and anthropological consciousness of the 19th century, a good part of traditional Western culture was undermined. And when in the 20th century, it became increasingly difficult to believe in optimistic theories of liberal or socialist progress, the crisis became all the more severe. I do not think it is an overgeneralization of the evidence presented in this book to say that masses of people in the West no longer know what they believe. In a conversation with the Indian leader Nehru Andre Malraux posed the question in much the same way I have. He told Nehru, 'I believe that the civilization of machines is the first civilization without a supreme value for the majority of people. There are traces of values — many. But the distinguishing characteristic of a civilization of action is, undoubtedly, that everyone be possessed by action. Action against contemplation; a human life, and perhaps the instant, against eternity. It remains to know whether a civilization can be merely a civilization of questions or of the instant, if it can for a long time base its values upon something other than a religion.' My answer is clear by now; there is no way back — or forward — to a religious integration of society on the model of Judeo-Christianity in any of its manifestations. But there is a need for the transcendental. That is why the conflict between religious and atheistic humanism must now be ended" (pp. 201-202).
Herodotus, in Peter, Laurence J, Ed. Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time. New York; Bantam Books, 1977. "Of all men's miseries, the bitterest is this, to know so much and to have control over nothing" (p. 279).
Illich, Ivan. "Silence Is a Commons: Computers Are Doing To Communicatlon What Fences Did To Pastures and Cars Did To Streets." CoEvolution Quarterly. No. 40. Winter 1983, pp. 4-9. See also the letter to the editor in the Spring 1984 issue, p. 126, from David Woolley: "What we are witnessing is nothing less than the creation of a new commons [in the computer bulletin boards], one that is inherently more egalitarian than the traditional mass media."
Johnson, Samuel. Rasselas. . "Knowledge is more than equivalent to force."
Johnson, Sonia. Going Out of Our Minds: The Metaphysics of Liberation. Freedom, CA: TheCrossing Press, 1987, See my review "Beyond Left and Right" in Adult & Continuing Education Today. Vol. 17, No. 17, August 31, 1987.
Kennedy, John F. In a speech at Rice University, Sept, 12, 1962; "The greater our knowledge increases, the greater our ignorance unfolds."
Kerber, August. Ed. Quotable Quotes on Education. Detroit, MI; Wayne State University Press, 1968. "A scrap of knowledge about sublime things is worth, more than any amount about trivialities" (St. Thomas Aquinas, p. 172). "Knowledge is not happiness, and science but an exchange of ignorance for that which is another kind of ignorance" (Lord Byron, p. 177).
Kidder, Rushworth M. "Have US Universities Flunked Out on the Humanities?" Christian Science Monitor. Sept, 19, 1988, p, 19. "Now comes a report from the National Endowment for the Humanities . . . written by endowment chairman Lynne V. Cheney and based on consultation with experts in the humanities, this well-crafted report (titled 'Humanities in America') brings together two sets of facts, [statistics about the drastic decline in humanities classes, majors, and degrees placed next to the increase in attendance at cultural events, participation in non-academic programs, cultural television, book sales, etc.] . . . Humanities should be leading the way. Where else, after all, will we learn that man (sic) cannot live by specialist alone?"
Kohr, Leopold. The Overdeveloped Nations: The Diseconomies of Scale. New York: Schocken Books, 1978. "The government of a modern industrial great power has no choice but to fall back on its two principle reserve pools of political employment — the bureaucracy and the army. These not only ensure a more dignified employment; they have also the advantage that their combined absorptive capacity is practically infinite. . . . What we really find in efficient large powers is therefore not full employment but hidden unemployment, its size being proportionate to the size of their armies plus that part of their bureaucracy that owes its existence to the operation of Parkinson's law. Even their vaunted mass production efficiency is therefore largely and illusionary or, better perhaps, a self-liquidating asset. For whatever large powers may economize through technological efficiency and automation, is swallowed up on the one hand by their scale of cyclical disruption, industrial strife, and the difficulties arising from their excessive need for co-ordination, and on the other, by the sterile cost of their military establishment. . . . One additional advantage of government created employment of both the military and the bureaucratic variety is that the more sterile and high-faluting it is, the greater are its educational requirements, so that one may say that education is rapidly emerging as a third receptacle for swallowing unemployment partly through the increasing armies of teachers and partly through the longer time needed for higher education" (pp. 112-113).
Krishnamurti, J. & David Bohm. The Ending of Time. San Francisco; Harper & Row, 1985). Conversations conducted between April and September 1980. See my review in Adult & Continuing Education Today, Jan. 19, 1987,
Lacey, Paul A. "Views of a Luddite." College & Research Libraries. 43:2, March 1982.
Lapham, Lewis. Money and Class in America: Notes and Observations on Our Civil Religion. New York: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1988. "Within the free-fire zones of the American language the uses of the words 'money' and 'class' shift with the social terrain, the tone of voice, and the angle of the sales pitch. Few words come armed with as many contradictions or as much ambivalence" (p. 3).
Leacock, Stephen. "Recovery After Graduation, Or, Looking Back on College." pp. 33-65 in his book Here Are My Lectures and Stories (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1937).
Lee, Jung Young. Cosmic Religion. New York; Harper Colophon Books, 1976. Originally published in 1973 by the Philosophical Library. "The failure of traditional religion in the West is mainly in the use of exclusive symbols for the inclusive God. ... By attributing personal names or symbols to God, the non-personal existence is almost completely neglected from the sphere of our religious thinking. . . . God must transcend a personal category. God is the God of both personal and non-personal existence. . , . Cosmic religion transcends both personal and non-personal categories. . . . The cosmic God is, then, the subject or the source of 'becoming'" (pp. 9-10). Harvey Cox says "This book makes an important contribution . . . [It:; shows that he grasps the religious crisis of a global society cramped by particularities and narrowness."
Leonard, George. The Silent Pulse. New York; Button, 1986. See my review in Adult &
Continuing Education Today. Jan. 19, 1987; George Leonard, the author of Education and Ecstasy and other works, believes he has found the pattern that connects the unique person we all are with the fundamental unity of the cosmos in what he calls "the silent pulse." Drawing from ancient wisdom and modern science, Leonard proposes that each person has (or is) an intrinsically perfect rhythm which is the essence of being and existence. Once we see this connecting rhythm we transcend our personal egos and can act for the good of the whole.
Lindsay, Vachel. "Why I Voted the Socialist Ticket," in his Collected Poems. New York:
Macmillan, 1959, pp. 301-302:
I am unjust, but I can strive for justice.
My life's unkind, but I can vote for kindness.
I, the unloving, say life should be lovely.
I, that am blind, cry out against my blindness.
Man is a curious brute — he pets his fancies —-
Fighting mankind, to win sweet luxury.
So he will be, tho' law be clear as crystal,
Tho all men plan to live in harmony.
Come let us vote against our human nature, Crying to God in
all the polling places
To heal our everlasting sinfulness
And make us sages with transfigured faces.
Liveright, A.A. & John Ohliger. "The International Dimension" in The Handbook of Adult Education. Robert Smith, et al, eds. New York; Macmillan, 1970.
Long, Marion. "Turncoat of the Computer Revolution: The High Priest of artificial intelligence, MIT's Joseph Weizenbaum has harsh words to say about the way society is embracing the very technology he helped to create." New Age Journal, Dec. 1985, pp. 47-51, 76-78. Interview with Weizenbaum.
Luxembourg, Lilo K. Francis Bacon and Denis Diderot; Philosophers of Science. New York: Humanities Press, 1967. "Bacon's health began to decline [in 1625]. He nevertheless insisted on working outdoors, and while experimenting with snow for the purpose of preserving food, he caught a cold, which lowered his resistance to such a degree that finally he met his death on the 9th of April, 1616. It might be said that [he] paid for his craving for knowledge with no less than his life. (p. 16) . . . Marx calls Bacon the true father of English materialism and of all modern experimental science" (p. 48).
Maimonides. Quoted on p. 293 of Leo Rosten's Treasury of Jewish Quotations. New York; McGraw-Hill, 1972. "A man should have no purpose in learning except this: to learn wisdom itself."
McDermott, John. <1969aThe Nation, April 14, 1969, pp. 458-462. "As individuals have became micro-specialists, less and less able to understand and act from general systems of knowledge, the great institutions have become generalists, increasingly able to integrate the discrete information of the specialists into technical and organizational systems which produce goods or services. . . . The mathematicians, sociologists, metallurgists and psychologists of the Defense Department may be alienated from their work, but in the higher echelons of the Pentagon, as throughout corporate America, knowledge is power. ... No amount of technical information pumped into the public life stream would be likely to correct the weaknesses of underclass politics, for the underclass now lacks the social, cultural and organizational framework within which that information can be assimilated and acted upon. As I have tried to stress, the problem is fundamentally a social one, not one of making individuals better informed. . . . The mutually destructive division between intellectual culture and popular culture should be ended. . . . We should frankly recognize that [the university-based intellectual] culture, comfortable in its adherence to ... liberal social prescriptions . . . , and confident that those . . . canons still contribute to the general betterment of humankind, now too often merely mask the social rapacity of the technological impulse."
McDermott, John. (1969b) "Technology: the Opiate of the Intellectuals," New York Review of Books, July 31, 1969, 13 (2), pp. 25-35. "If religion was formerly the opiate of the masses, then surely technology is the opiate of the educated public today, or at least of its favorite authors. No other single subject is so universally invested with high hopes for the improvement of humanity generally and of Americans in particular. The content of these millennial hopes varies somewhat from author to author, though with considerable overlap. A representative but by no means complete list of these promises and their prophets would include: an end to poverty and the inauguration of permanent prosperity (Leon Keyserling), universal equality of opportunity <zbigniew brzezinskiThe Death of Nature; Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution. San Francisco; Harper & Row, 1980.
Miller, Henry. The Wisdom of the Heart. New York; New Directions Books, 1941. "In expanding the field of knowledge we but increase the horizon of ignorance."
Mumford, Ethel Watts. in Peter, Laurence J. Ed. Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Time. New York; Bantam Books, 1977. "Knowledge is power, if you know it about the right person" (p. 279).
Needleman, Jacob. Lost Christianity. New York: Bantam Books, 1982, "There is crisis in every field of human endeavor, everywhere a shaking of the foundations of knowledge and expression. Everywhere, there is increasing fragmentation together with reactive and ineffectual efforts at unification. In religion, there are countless sects, cults, new religions, 'orthodoxies,' 'heterodoxies,' 'liberalisms,' 'traditionalisms' — together with almost as many 'ecumenical' programs that 'break down at the first real test into yet more sects, countermovments and splinter groups. In the natural sciences, there is the constantly accelerating proliferation of information, factual discovery and theoretical speculation and, with almost comical regularity, the appearance of 'breakthroughs' demanding 'total revision' of fundamental scientific assumptions and leading to yet more accumulation of information, factual discovery and theoretical speculation — so much so that the whole idea of a single scientific concept of nature begins to seem like an anachronism, and the whole aim of reaching a unified world view, which is so essential to normal human feelings, begins to seem like an unrealistic ideal. . . . Everywhere, the pressure to learn and use these new inventions in defiance of traditional forms is breeding confusion. People are taking sides for and against technology and find no way to consult their own overall feelings about anything" (pp. 209-210).
Nemerov, Howard. The Next Room of the Dream. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962.
Neruda, Pablo. "Keeping Quiet" in his Extravagaria. New York; Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1972. Originally published in Spanish as Extravagario in 1959. Translated by Alastair Reid. "Now we will count to twelve/ and we will all keep still./ For once on the face of the earth,/ let's not speak in any language;/ let's stop for one second,/ and not move our arms so much./ It would be an exotic moment/ without rush, without engines;/ we would all be together/ in a sudden strangeness./ . . . Perhaps the earth can teach us/ as when everything seems dead/ and later proves to be alive" (pp. 26-29).
Nowlen, Chuck. "Virus Hits Computer Programs." WisconsinWeek ("the official newspaper of record for the University of Wisconsin-Madison"). Vol. Ill, No. 31. October 12, 1988, pp. 1 & 8. "Commercial virus-detection programs are sometimes effective, but persistent programmers usually can find a way around them eventually, [Tad Pinkerton, UW-Madison academic program director and a professor of computer science] added" (p. 8). [Note also in the minutes of the Staff Meeting for the UW College Library (Oct. 18, 1988) that viruses also hit the Macintosh computers available for student use: "The Quarantine has been lifted in Media [where the computers are]. All Mac's have been cured — although one lost its memory and software will be reinstalled.'
Nye, Frank Wilson. Knowledge Is Power: The Life Story of Percy Hampton Johnston, Banker.
New York: Random House, 1956. "To him banking was not only a means of livelihood but a public service. The radical might look at banking as a parasitical growth. But to Percy it was a system enabling, and farmers too, to do more and earn more than would be possible without banking credit. He was convinced that, with the knowledge he proposed to acquire, he would have the power to earn a good living and could make a name for himself as a banker serving the public interest. . . . People laugh at the copybook maxims, but Percy had copied one that made an indelible impression, "Knowledge is power! " All right, he would get that knowledge. And he went after banking knowledge as few youths have pursued the mysteries of finance. Before he was thirty he had memorized our national Banking Act and had. read every banking law he could find" (p. 11).
Ohliger, John. (1967) Listening Groups: Mass Media in Adult Education. Brookline, MA: Center for the Study of Liberal Education for Adults at Boston University, 1967.
Ohliger, John. (1969) "Adult Basic Education and the Liberal Arts Approach." Adult Leadership. April 1969. pp. 417-19.
Ohliger, John. (1985a) "Are Adult Educators Really Wimps?" Adult & Continuing Education Today. May 13, 1985, p. 80.
Ohliger, John. (1985b) "The Final Solution to Learning Opportunities: Mandatory Continuing Educatlon." Tranet. No. 37.
Ohliger, John. (1985c) "You Already Know the Way." Talk to Prairie Unitarian-Universalist Society, August 18, 1985. Four pages with 22 item bibliography. Available from Basic choices for one dollar.
Ohliger, John. <1985dA Sampler of Broader Views on the Context for Continuing Professional Education. Madison, WI; Basic Choices, Inc., 1985. A 95 page quotational bibliography of 240 items dealing with "Science & Technology," "The Professions," and "The Future" including the reunification of the West and the East. Available from Basic Choices for ten dollars in U.S. funds paid in advance. SEE PAGE 33 BELOW FOR AN OUTLINE.
Olson, Warren. Letter from the President of the Meiklejohn Education Foundation to the author, Sept. 25, 1988. ". . . In regard to the length of your remarks to the group, I should think that about thirty minutes would be ideal. That would leave time for questions and answers. Building your talk around two kinds of knowledge seems a fine way to proceed. Knowledge for its own sake need not exclude (nor should it) the education of human beings for the task of developing character and humanness, That, I think, is what liberal education is about. In a real sense, liberal education makes knowledge for its own sake possible, thus both are always under attack by the advocates of knowledge as power. Now we have our own dialectic. Placing that dialectic in the context of adult education should be most illuminating. I take it that you see adult education, ideally, as a form of knowledge for its own sake. I should think that you should be able to relate that to the computer age quite handily."
Pagels, Heinz R. The Dreams of Season: The Computer and the Rise of the Sciences of Complexity. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1988. "It is my conviction that the history of the contemporary world will be seen in the future as a history of science and technology dominantly shaping the course of international events. The future of the world lies with the nations and people that master this new realm of complexity, a mastery that will be a source of their wealth, security, and well-being. Francis Bacon said that knowledge is power. How right he was. But his remark leaves open the question of whether we possess the wisdom to exercise that power, and whether we who possess it are ready to extend it to the billions of people who are powerless. Sometimes I wonder if it will be the poverty of the poor or the greed of the rich that will be our undoing. Yet I remain an optimist and believe that the liberating capacity of our knowledge, along with a little wisdom, will affirm the power of life over death. I continue to believe that the distant day will come when the order of human affairs is not entirely established by domination. And even if that day should never come, it seems worthy of our hope" (p. 321),
Paterson, Antoinette Mann. Francis Bacon and Socialized Science. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, Publisher, 1973, "The acquisition of knowledge was for Bacon a way to insure political supremacy. Long before the Royal Society was founded, Bacon supported and operated his own laboratory of knowing and his own world library of manuscripts, attended by a veritable court of scribes and mechanics, (p. 57) . . . Bacon spent millions of dollars and lived as a prince. The funds were obtained through loans and grants directly from the throne, the money was used to support his own minor court of men who were encyclopedists and intelligence agents. Knowledge was power for Bacon, and he made no distinction in his budget between the value of knowledge of natural sciences and the value of knowledge of the political intrigue in the domestic or foreign courts." (p. 65).
Plato. Timeus. in The Dialogues of Plato, Translated by B. Jowett, Oxford; Oxford University Press, 1931, III, p. 513. The statement cited continues: "... and since he is ever cherishing the divine power, and has the divinity within him in perfect order, he will be perfectly happy."
Polanyi, Michael. Personal Knowledge. Chicago; University of Chicago Press, 1958. "In the days when an idea could be silenced by showing that it was contrary to religion, theology was the greatest source of fallacy. Today, when any human thought can be discredited by branding it as unscientific, the power previously exercised by theology has passed over to science; hence science has become in its turn the greatest source of error" (p. 141).
Power, Hilton. Letter to the author, Oct. 18., 1988. ". . . I do feel that the narrow intellectual specialization may be overcome by those who have a liberal education and are burning with desire to teach adults. I would not rule out a new wave of interest. Every couple of decades a new wave comes along to raise and hold aloft old ideas. Look at born again Christian. Who would have thought it? ..."
Randall, John Herman, Jr. The Role of Knowledge in Western Religion. Boston; Starr King Press, 1958. "Spinoza used the new scientific scheme of understanding to construct a rational philosophical theology that would give the true interpretation of traditional religious symbols and beliefs. . . . For Spinoza, as for Bacon, knowledge is power; but for him it is the power to bring salvation and human freedom. . . . For Hobbes . . . theology is not knowledge, but Law, a means of governing men" (pp. 64-65).
Rifkin, Jeremy. Time Wars: The Primary Conflict in Human History. New York; Henry Holt, 1987, "Bacon and Descartes believed that 'knowledge is power.' By relying on the scientific method and rigorous mathematical logic, they argued that it was possible to both understand and control the forces of nature, and, by so doing, advance the material well being of society and create a more secure world. The Hebraic and Christian cosmologies introduced history into their images of the future. Bacon, Descartes, and their contemporaries introduced progress. This was a revolutionary new idea for which there was little precedent. Time, in the new scheme of things, was no longer to be used in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ but rather as a means to advance the new temporal idea of progress. To believe in progress is to believe in a future that is always improving, enlarging, and, above all, enduring. There is no end to progress. It is -unstoppable, relentless. It speeds us into a future where there are no boundaries or borders, a future that is infinitely expansive and 'timeless'" (pp. 141-142).
Kodriguez, Richard, "Across the Borders of History," Harper's Magazine. March, 1986 (?), p,48. " Inforination in an authoritarian society is power, In Mexico, power accumulates as information is withheld."
Eoaentlial, Franz, Knowledge Triumphant; The Concept of Knowledge in Medieval Islam. Leiden, Netherlands; E.J, Brill, 1970. "In Islam, the concept of knowledge enjoyed an importance unparalleled in other civilizations, , . , Knowledge is at the root of every advance in human society. Our contention has been no more and no less than that in Islam, this fact has found its triumphant verbalization centering around the very word 'knowledge.' . . . When Christianity took over from the Greek and Roman world and created the Western 'Middle Ages,' the concept of knowledge relinquished whatever privileged position it occupied in the Ancient World. Knowledge was cultivated, and wisdom cherished, but the medieval mind was not moved by a magic spell emanating from the word 'knowledge' or a belief in its unsurpassed religious and worldly merit. . . . The true test for the thesis that the concept of knowledge achieved its unique triumph in Islam must involve a comparison of Islam with the civilizations of India and China, , . . Chinese and, in particular, Neo-Confucian thought was thoroughly dominated by the idea of the inseparability of knowledge from action. In the Chinese view, action, and not knowledge, is the chief concern of the individual and of society. Action was regarded as more important, more trustworthy, more easily grasped, or more difficult, and hence of greater concern. ... It is true that 'learning' was the beginning and end of all Chinese societal endeavor, but like knowledge, all study was directed toward action. . . . The situation in India appears to have been totally different. Action fades into the background. Epistemology at its most abstract comes to the fore as an abiding preoccupation of Indian thinkers. . . . Indian speculation, however, went deeper into the abstract problem of knowledge than ever Muslim scholars ever did. In the nature of Sanskrit, this speculation involved a great variety of terms which were filled, with specific meanings. There was no single dominating term. For us this is the principal consideration. . . . No matter how greatly imbued Indian civilization was with 'knowledge,' it did not grant one term the free run of its entire intellectual and societal landscape. In conclusion, the question may be asked; What does it mean for a civilization, and beyond it, for the history of humankind, if 'knowledge' is made its central concern? . . . Its insistence upon 'knowledge' has no doubt made medieval Muslim civilization one of great scholarly and scientific productivity, and through it, Muslim civilization made its most lasting contribution to humanity. 'Knowledge' as its center also hardened Muslim civilization and made it impervious to anything that did not fall within its view of what constituted acceptable knowledge. We can see how much can be achieved by the fusion of intellectual and spiritual values in one dominant concept, but the drawbacks of this process are obvious" (pp. 334, 336-341),
Roszak, Theodore. (1981) Bugs. New York; Doubleday, 1981, Long before the current furor over the "computer virus," Roszak wrote his first novel about a child with mystic powers who takes literally an overheard remark that 'There are just a few bugs in the system.' The bugs she introduces act like the current "viruses" with more devastating results.
Roszak, Theodore. (1986) The Cult of Information: The Folklore of Computers and the True Art of Thinking. New York; Pantheon Books, 1986. The preliminary reading for this convocation. Joseph Weizenbaum says of it, "I truly like this book" (see book jacket).
Ruben, David. "Machine Dreams or — Nightmares?" New Age Journal. Nov/Dec 1988, pp. 80-82. Review of In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power by Shoshana Zuboff (Basic Books) and The Electronic Sweatshop: How Computers are Transforming the Office of the Future Into the Factory of the Past By Barbara Gerson (Simon & Schuster). "Their many hours of interviews and observations yielded divergent paints of view but one inescapable conclusion: instead of unleashing a radically vibrant and creative new age of work, computers have so far been used mainly to reinforce and extend the dehumanizing logic of the assembly line. . . . So-called 'expert systems' standardize decision-making in human service agencies, brokerage houses, and the military, drastically reducing the role of human judgement, compassion, and intuition."
Sale, Kirkpatrick. Human Scale. New York; Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1980, On the book jacket quoting Lewis Kumford: "If anything can arrest the total disintegration of world civilization today it will come through a miracle: the recovery of 'the human scale," described in Kirkpatrick Sale's encyclopedic book."
Satin, Mark. "Winner; Limits to Technology?" New Options. No. 38. April 30, 1987. Review of Langdon Winner's The Whale and the Reactor (see below). "We have no philosophy of technology, says Winner, because the 'idea of progress' — the idea that change is 'growth' and growth is good — has been so dominant. Even the left sees technology as neutral, its effects dependent largely on how it is used and to whose benefit. Winner has a name for this perspective; 'technological somnambulism.' . . . The computer revolution [says Winner] is a deeply misguided notion because the sheer quantity of information available has very little to do with people's ability to think wisely or act effectively" (p. 7).
Schroth, Raymond A, "Beware the Jabberwocky." Commonweal. April 8, 1988, pp. 213-214. Review of The Academic Life. By Burton R. Clark (The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) and The Last Intellectuals. By Russell Jacoby (Basic Books). "The 'Achilles' heel' of this otherwise well-functioning system [of higher education], Clark confesses, is its inability to reward undergraduate teaching — particularly when the undergraduate colleges are the soul and life's blood of the complex, overarching graduate institutions. But Academic Life does not reflect how much the broken back of this system — its overspecialization — has crippled real liberal education; we have faculty so narrowly trained — poorly educated -- that they can no longer comprehend, much less pass on, a common culture to the young" (pp. 213-214).
Schwartz, Eugene S. Overskill: The Decline of Technology in Modern Civilization. New York: Ballantine, 1971. "Technology begets more technology, becomes ever more complex, more costly. The search for new techniques, new materials, and new processes as technology strives to complete a quasi~solution and then augments the solution at a higher level, fuels the treadmill of economic development, expansion, and growth."
Shah, Idries. (1981) A Perfumed Scorpion: The Way to the Way. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1981. Quotes Einstein, "The cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblest driving force behind scientific research." Then footnotes it, "Quoted in his Obituary, 19 April 1955. This may be a driving force, but it certainly is not a discussable one: speech and experience have opposite characteristics. As Hujwiri, 1,000 years ago, quoting a Sufi director, said; 'To ask about experience (hal) is absurd, because experience is the annihilation of speech.' (Kashf al Mahjub). Nicolson's version, p. 370, 1959 reprint. London: Luzac,)" (p. 19).
Shah, Idries (1987) Adventures, Facts and Fantasy in Darkest England. London; Octagon Press, 1987. "Why then have [the English] not taken over the earth? To me there can be only one explanation, the one which some of today's Eastern and other enthusiasts are fond of including in their category of Spiritual Pollution. Not exactly the spiritual side of the pollution, but rather the mistaken ideas side, and the part which refers to cluttering the mind with irrelevancies. The pragmatist, not less than the systematist, is always at risk here. He may have the data, he may have the timing; he may even have the judgment. But is there inaccurate — or just too much — data in that cranial treasure-house?" (p. 252).
Sharma, Vera. Random Thoughts. Calcutta, India; Wrlters Workshop Books, 1981.
Siu, R.G.H. The Tao of Science: An Essay on Western Knowledge and Eastern Wisdom. New York; Wiley, 1957. "The doctrine 'Science for science's sake' is symptomatic of the scholarly thinkers which are diminishing her 'potentialities of greater service to humanity. By adhering to this maxim, science is cutting herself off from her source of significance. Chesterton wrote quite pungently on this score. He found ft 'extremely difficult to believe that a man who is obviously uprooting mountains and dividing seas, tearing down temples and stretching out hands to the stars, is really a quiet old gentleman who only asks to indulge his harmless old hobby and follow his harmless old nose.' When an atom is split and a hundred thousand lives are smothered and the world is thrown into a terrible anxiety for centuries thereafter, how can the layperson believe that the splitting of the atom is a great and commendable accomplishment and the resulting destructiveness a blameless inadvertence. ... In these times of insecurity in the wisdom of our intelligentsia, there needs to be a reappraisal of the doctrine 'Science for science's sake' and its twin, 'Knowledge for knowledge's sake'" (p. 137).
Sol, Kenna del. Social & Personal Health Through Sound. Interview with her conducted by John Ohliger and broadcast over WOET-FM in 1987. Available on 30 minute tape from Basic Choices for five dollars.
Stanley, Manfred. The Technological Conscience: Survival and Dignity in an Age of Expertise. New York; The Free Press, 1978.: "For literacy to remain secure as an end of culture, the virtues of 'knowing' for its own sake must be valued, even if any immediate hope of its translation into more direct forms of action is minimal" (p. 222).
Streibel, Michael J. "A Critical Analysis of the Use of Computers in Education." Educational Communications and Technology. Vol. 34, So. 3, Fall 1986. Streibel is Associate Professor, Educational Technology Program, Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Includes a 114 item list of references. "I have examined the three major approaches to the use of computers in education and found serious limitations with each approach. The drill-and-practice approach was show to embody a deterministic, behavioral technology that turned learning into a systematically designed and quality-controlled form of work. Although drill-and-practice courseware programs were only intended to supplement instruction, they in fact introduced a technological framework into the classroom culture that mitigated against non-behavioral educational goals. Computerized tutorial programs were shown to extend the behavioral and technological approach to learning even further. That is, in tutorial courseware programs, interactions were still shaped by an external agent's intentions in order to maximize the learner's performance gains and were still constrained by computable algorithms. Furthermore, the human learner was still treated as a means toward someone else's ends and only given a form of pseudo-control in the interaction. Most seriously, computerized tutorial interactions preempted personal intellectual agency and ultimately inner-directed learning. Finally, the use of computer programming and simulations in education was shown to limit the learner's mental landscape to objective, quantitative, and procedural 'intellectual tools.' This left the learner with an under-developed intellectual agency within the qualitative, dialectical, and experiential domains of natural and social events. Each of the approaches described above may have some short-term gain associated with them, but taken together, they represent a shift toward technologizing education. Drill-and-practice courseware programs alter the nature of sub-skill acquisition, tutorial courseware programs restrict the full range of personal Intellectual agency, and computer programming and simulations delegitimize non-tecbnological ways of learning and thinking about problems. Taken together, is this worth the price?" (p. 158)
Sun Tzu Wu. The Art of War: The Oldest Military Treatise in the World. Translated from the
Chinese by Lionel Giles. Introduction and notes by Brigadier General Thomas R. Phlllips. Harrisburg, PA; Military Service Publishing Co., 1944.
Sykes, Charles J. ProfScam: Professors and the Demise of Higher Education. Washington, DC; Regnery Gateway, 1988. "The new ideology of diversity and anti-elitism was a potent new weapon for the professoriate in protecting its gains against inconvenient reforms. In the mid-1970s, for example, the Carter administration summoned academic leaders to Washington to discuss the possibility of holding a White House conference called 'Liberal Learning in the 1980s and Beyond.' Harvard had just introduced its Core Curriculum, and the administration had noted with interest the apparent enthusiasm for reform among the nation's academic leaders. But when confronted with specifics, they found the academics were less forthcoming. Many professors bitterly opposed any effort to develop even a minimum curriculum, because they saw it as a reactionary infringement on their own prerogatives. Some were concerned over simple turf issues: Would their own academic arabesques on Sumerian sodomy be included in such a core? But in public they took a different, and by now predictable tack; They expressed lugubrious concern over the problems of defining any curriculum in light of the diversity of the student body, particularly the so-called new learners, who would not be in schools if they were forced to conform to traditional standards. After two days of wrangling, the organizers dropped the goal of defining liberal learning and in a burst of inspired profspeak changed it to 'legitimizing diversity in the solving of common problems.' Plans for a full-dress White house parley were quietly scrapped. As if to prove this was not a fluke, a 1983 conference sponsored by the national Endowment for the Humanities came to a similar 'conclusion.' At the NEH conference, representatives from 11 institutions of higher learning, could agree only that 'the curriculum should reflect the particular goals and character of the institution. There is no single effective education, and what works well at one institution may be a disaster at another.' In other words, they punted. But deciding not to decide was itself a powerful ratification of curricular disintegration because it left the academic culture untouched" (p. 90).
Teich, Mark. "Editing Einstein." Omni. Vol. 10, July 1988, pp. 24+. "Ruth Nanda Anshen is the editor who conceived and guided an unparalleled collection of thought-provoking texts by the 20th century's greatest minds. 'Information is not synonymous with knowledge. Information is only data, parts of the whole. Knowledge has a moral imperative to enhance intellectual and spiritual unity,' Anshen says, reiterating the them which runs throughout all her work. "No fact is important in itself. What is important is its relationship to the rest of existence,' she adds. Anshen's [has a] lifelong obsession with what she calls 'the unitary structure of all reality.' Anshen says, 'the contemporary scientist says merely, for example, that he deals with silicon and all these computer miniaturizations of data. There is analysis without synthesis.' In Anshen's opinion, there is a 'dangerous determinism' in using the brain and mind to program the machine. 'Eventually, there will be no possible avenue left to us but programming the machine.' The consequence, she says, will be a 'fact-based, materialistic world perilously devoid of ethics and values.' Such a threadbare world, Anshen believes, is already developing.'"
Thomas, Alan M. "Eoby Kidd: Intellectual Voyageur." In Twentieth Century Thinkers in Adult
Education. Peter Jarvis, ed. London: Croom Helm, 1987. '"Human beings seem to seek after learning; learning seems to be the condition of a healthy organism. The main task is to provide the climate and the atmosphere and stimulus and self-discipline in which learning is promoted' (Kidd unpublished memoirs, a, p. 8), 'Our first problem is to survive. It is not a question of the survival of the fittest; either we survive together or we perish together. Survival requires that the countries of the world must learn to live together in peace. Learn is the operative word' (Kidd, 1974a, p. 35). In many respects the two preceding statements represent the continuing polarities, the Scylla and Charybdis, of the life and thought of J. Robbins Kidd."
"Too Much Information Can Be Dangerous To Your Health." The U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian. No. 51, p. 13. Abstracted from The National Enquirer. October 23, 1984. "Informaddicts spend every waking moment acquiring new information from newspapers, books, magazines, television and radio. Their addiction is just as strong as an addiction to alcohol or drugs, . . . declared psychiatrist Robert Armstadter. There are millions of individuals afflicted with information addiction, and it's a growing trend that will affect millions more in the future, said Dr. Donald Dudley, a University of Washington psychiatrist."
Unamuno, Miguel de. The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972. Translated from the Spanish by Anthony Kerrigan, originally published in 1913.
Veeesr, Cyrus. "Great Books and Bayonets." Harper's Magazine. October 1986, pp. 20-21. "From a letter to the editor ... in the June 23 New York Times. . . . Stanford University's revision of its Western Culture course has sparked fear in some circles that the slogan 'Western Culture's got to go' will become a general campus rallying cry, , . , An overlooked question is where the course known as Western Civilization came from in the first place. Today's Western Civ classes are the offspring of a government-sponsored propaganda course instituted during World War I. As shown by the historians Carol Gruber (Mars and Minerva: World War I and the Uses of the Higher Learning in America) and William Summerscales (Affirmation and Dissent: Columbia's Response to the Crisis of World War I), nearly all male college students in the country were in uniform by the autumn of 1918, and their pre-induction training included a 'War Issues' course. ... At the war's end, the Columbia College faculty and deans took War Issues as a model for an innovative course called Contemporary Civilization. . . . Colleges and universities around the country followed Columbia's lead and created their own Western Civ offerings. . . . Ironically, perhaps, today's critics of Western Civ are the real traditionalists. Like the (white, male, Christian) professors who introduced the course 70 years ago, they recognize that definitions of 'civilization' must be provisional, not fixed — and that defining civilization is very much a political act."
Vickers, Brian. Francis Bacon. Essex, England: Longman Group, 1978. "While Bacon was engaged in public life he could never devote more than his spare time to his scientific and philosophical studies. ... In those fields he was to a great extent self-taught, and was out of touch with many of the major scientific discoveries of his time. Yet these shortcomings by no means invalidate the great part he played in freeing knowledge from the closed circle of book-learning woven around it by medieval thinkers [so "knowledge is power" does not refer to the value of information or data but to the value of empirical experimentation], in championing experimental research and removing from it the taint of atheism, and in establishing a climate in which scientific enquiry could flourish" (p. 1).
Wagner, Jane. The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. New York: Harper & Row, 1986. See my review, "Our Newest Addiction?" in Adult & Continuing Education Today, Vol. 16, No, 25, Dec. 22, 1986,
Wallechinsky, David, Amy Wallace, & Irving Wallace. The Book of Predictions. New York:William Morrow, 1981). Here are some specific ones for the year 2000: "The amount of public understanding of important questions of public policy in the U.S. will decrease as the media, especially TV, radio, and advertising, conceal more and more important information and appeal to lower and lower levels of people's minds. (Edmund C. Berkeley "a pioneer in the computer field")".
Watts, Alan. (1950) The Supreme Identity; An Essay on Oriental Metaphysic and the Christian Religion. New York; Pantheon, 1950. Includes a well annotated 50 item bibliography. "The peculiarly and, indeed, uniquely violent and disruptive character of modern civilization, the very emergence of a technology run mad, is not without roots in the '(medieval world. It has not appeared in Western culture out of a clear sky; it is not due to some uncaused act of folly or deviltry perpetrated by William of Occam, Galileo, Descartes, Bacon, or Luther. It is inherent in a certain peculiarity of the Western mind. This peculiarity is Western man's unwillingness to be finite, to accept the conditions of finite life."
Walts, Alan. (1973) Beyond Theology: The Art of Godmanship. New York: Vintage Books, 1973 (originally published in 1964). "Whoever knows that he knows must be amazed. This is both to wonder and to be lost in a maze; to wonder because knowing and being is downright weird, and to be lost in a maze because knowing that one knows generates a confusion of echoes in which the original sound is lost. For when I know that I know, which one is I? The first which knows, the second which knows that I know, or the third which knows that I know that I know? On the one hand, to know about knowing is to think; to have in mind a formula of words or symbols which stands for the act of knowing. On the other hand, it is to turn the senses back upon themselves, to try to become physically aware of the very organs of being aware. . . . The only trouble is that the body is not completely accessible to itself and the senses are not fully transparent to themselves. True, I can explore someone else's body much more fully than my own, but that wasn't quite what I wanted to do; I wanted to feel it all from the inside rather than the outside. Because, then, the senses are not fully transparent to themselves, the act of knowing (and isn't this really what I call I?) seems to be without any tangible foundation. It springs from the void. It stands alone: a light illumining the world, but not illuminating the wires that connect it with the world, since they lie immediately behind it, 'I am therefore to myself a stranger in the earth, facing and meeting the world, but not really belonging. ... If anyone brought up in a Christian culture says, 'I am God,' we conclude at once that he is insane, but humor him by asking technical questions. 'How did you create the world in six days?' 'Why did you allow the Devil to get into the Garden of Eden?' 'What were you doing before you created the universe?' But, in India, when someone suddenly declares, 'I am God,' they say, 'Congratulations! At last you found out.' For them, the claim to be God does not involve the claim to encyclopedic omniscience and completely arbitrary omnipotence. The reason is that they know very well what a completely omniscient and omnipotent being would do. Imagine a world in which all the ambitions of technology have been fulfilled, where everyone has a panel of push-buttons which, at the lightest touch, will satisfy every desire more swiftly than the djinn of Aladdin's lamp. Less than five minutes after this ambition has been attained, it will be essential to include upon the panel a button marked SURPRISE! For the Hindus, the world-as-it-is is the result of having pushed that button; it is terrifyingly magical — at once far, far out of control yet at the same time one's own inmost will. What we mean, in the Western world, by knowing how things are done is that we can describe the process in words, or some other form of symbolism. It is thus that our education consists almost entirely of learning skill with symbols — reading, writing, and arithmetic — relegating skill in kinesthetic, social, and aesthetic matters to extracurricular activities. But the conduct and regulation of the whole human organism, not to mention the whole universe, is manifestly an affair so swift and complex that no lumbering string of words can account for it. The omniscience of God is precisely that he does not have to think before he acts. He knows how to produce the universe just as I know how to breathe."
Wei, Henry, pp. 112-113. The Guiding Light of Lao Tzu. Wheaton, IL; Theosophical Publishing House, 1982.
Weizenbaum, Joseph. Computer Power and Human Reason: From Judgment to Calculation. San Francisco: W.H, Freeman, 1976, "In 1935, Michael Polanyi, then holder of the Chair of Physical Chemistry at the Victoria University of Manchester, England, was suddenly shocked into a confrontation with philosophical questions that have ever since dominated his life. The shock was administered by Nicolai Bukharin, one of the leading theoreticlans of the Russian Communist party, who told Polanyi that 'under socialism the conception of science pursued for its own sake would disappear, for the interests of scientists would spontaneously turn to the problems of the current Five Year plan.' Polanyi sensed then that 'the scientific outlook appeared to have produced a mechanical conception of man and history in which there was no place for science itself. And further that 'this conception denied altogether any intrinsic power to thought and thus denied any grounds for claiming freedom of thought.'. . . Beginning perhaps with Francis Bacon's misreading of the genuine promise of science, man has been seduced into wishing and working for the establishment of an age of rationality, but with his vision of rationality tragically twisted so as to equate it with logicality. Thus we very nearly come to the point where almost every genuine human dilemma is seen as a mere paradox, as a merely apparent contradiction that could be untangled by judicious applications of cold logic derived from a higher standpoint. Even murderous wars have come to be perceived as mere problems to be solved by hordes of professional problem solvers" (pp. 1-2,13)
Whitney, Charles, Francis Bacon and Modernity. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1986. "Freedom, reason, discovery, progress; Francis Bacon focuses these ideals in a distinctively modern call to search for knowledge as power over nature, knowledge for the benefit and use of life. His astonishingly diverse reception over the past 350 years brings out tensions or discontinuities that are basic to modern culture and that his own work also suggests. Many condemn his godlessly narrow quest for power. Seventeenth century scientists find inspiration in Bacon’s specifically Christian science — although later freethinking ones also hail Bacon as an ancestor, (p. 1) ... At its worst the Baconian search for truth is a furious, compulsive, and ascetic ritual of life-negation. Bacon's utopia and the community of truth-seeking intellectuals at its core thus represent the blind or the secret will to domination and control that ideologies of both reform and revolution can harbor. At its best, Bacon's utopia represents an affirmative and healing ritual of life that attempts to encompass both reformative and revolutionary possibilities for human realization."
Wiener, Norbert. I Am a Mathematician. New York; Doubleday, 1956.
Wilkins, Mitzie. "Trans-Radical Thought in Adult Ed." Poem presented as part of a seminar with the same title I conducted at Northern Illinois University in 1984. Includes; "When we deal with the assumption that 'all people want to learn,'/ It brings up the question, what?/ I once met a dancer/ Who worked in a night club./ She said, 'Everybody who can/ Dance on their feet,/ Can't dance on their, backs.'/ . . , 'Everything I ever learned I learned in bed.'" Available from Basic Choices.
Williams, David C. "The Computer as Fool; A Reconnaissance of Post-Technology and Its Participants." Canadian Journal of Educational Communications. March 1983. 17 pages plus 3 pages of bibliography. This paper was very helpful in the preparation of my talk.
Winner, Langdon. The Whale and the Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1986. "Roszak, Marcuse, Mumford, and others writing along similar lines were perfectly aware of the Pentagon, CIA, transnational business firms, and other megalithic high-technology organizations. It was not naivete their writings expressed, but rather total contempt for these institutions combined with a sense of powerlessness. To avoid the cynicism and gloom toward which their thinking carried them, it was necessary to perform a high-wire act along very slender threads of hope. . . . 'As everybody knows, knowledge is power.' This is an attractive idea but highly misleading. Of course, knowledge employed in particular circumstances can help one act effectively and in that sense enhances one's power. A citrus farmer's knowledge of frost conditions enables him/her to take steps to prevent damage to the crop. A candidate's knowledge of public opinion can be a powerful aid in an election campaign. But surely there is not automatic, positive link between knowledge and power, especially if that means power in a social or political sense. At times knowledge brings merely an enlightened impotence or paralysis. One may know exactly what to do but lack the wherewithal to act. Of the many conditions that affect the phenomenon of power, knowledge is but one and by no means the most important. Thus, in the history of ideas, arguments that expert knowledge ought to play a special role in politics — the philosopher-kings for Plato, the engineers for Veblen — have always been offered as something contrary to prevailing wisdom. To Plato and Veblen it was obvious that knowledge was not power, a situation they hoped to remedy" (pp. 69-70, 109-110). See review of this book at Satin, Mark above.
Winston, Brian. (1986) Misunderstanding Media. Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press, 1986. See my review of this book in Adult & Continuing Education Today. Nov. 23, 1987.
Winston, Brian. (1987) "A Mirror for Brunelleschi," in FUTURES. Summer 1987 issue of Daedalus (Vol. 116, No. 3, of the Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Winterson, Jeanette. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. London; Pandora Press (Rout ledge & Kegan Paul), 1985, "Of course that is not the whole story, but that is the way with stories; we make them what we will. It's a way of explaining the universe while leaving the universe unexplained, it's a way of keeping it all alive, not boxing it into time" (p. 93). See also pp. 15 & 16 re: learning-ness next to godliness.
Yolton, John W. "As in a Looking-Glass: Perceptual Acquaintance in 18th Century Britain." Journal of the History of Ideas. Vol. XL, No. 2, April/June 1979, pp. 207-234. "Anyone working within the history of thought appreciates the importance of small phrases, even single words, for illuminating the context of arguments and claims. The presence in a particular author of some phrase taken from a prior tradition does not, of course, necessarily mean that the author has accepted that earlier doctrine or theory, certainly not without modifications. But such words and phrases do serve as signals to us of reverberations of some doctrine which it behooves us to track down. We can decide later to what extent the prior history of that doctrine does help us to understand its . . . use" (p. 107)
Wandering lonely in a lane,
where lofty tamarind trees
towered above me,
black branched and tender green,
I was awed by the silence.
Then I heard the chir of crickets,
the cawing of crows,
the cries of nesting egrets,
the rustling of innumerable insects
hidden from sight.
Awakening suddenly one night,
I was oppressed by the silence within me.
Then thoughts and desires
that I refused to face by day
came crowding in to tantalize me.
The silence of the heart too
was peopled with clamoring
Sharma, p. 18. See Also; Neruda)
THE FAR SIDE
By GARY LARSON
"Notice all the computations, theoretical scrlbbllngs. and lab equipment, Norm....
Yes. curiosity killed these cats."
"The true meaning of knowledge seems often misunderstood, being accepted as the equivalent of learning acquired by reading, but the word, in its old form of know-leche was in common use long before books were accessible.
Learning is properly a scholastic acquirement, a means of gaining knowledge, but know-leche implies a grace received, the gift of knowing. For the second syllable, leche. is a form of the Anglo-Saxon lac. a gift, also exemplified in the word wed-lock, by some interpreted to mean pledge-gift or security-gift — the woman giving herself in exchange for the man's protection (sic)."
A SAMPLES OF BROADER VIEWS ON THE COHTEXT FOR CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
SEE; Ohliger (1985d) above. This is one of my attempts to use the aesthetic-intuitive research approach in the preparation of a bibliography. When I reviewed the book POWER AND CONFLICT IN CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (Milton Stern, ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1963), I noted that it neglected (like most standard adult ed texts) the extensive literature that questions the value of all the accelerating high technology and points to the possibility of an endemic crisis in professionalism itself. I offered the readers of the review in THE JOURNAL OF HIGHER EDUCATION (Vol. 55, No. 6, November/December 1964, pp. 776-778) a set of references to these broader social concerns. The bibliography begins with 74 pages of quotations arranged after selection on an aesthetic-intuitive basis. Here is that arrangement;
I. The Setting in Science & Technology
A. Science — What Is It?
B. The Rise of Techno-Logic
C. The Wedding of Science & Technology
D. Growing Doubts About Science & Tech.
E. Moving Beyond Scientism & Techno-Logic
II. The Setting in Other Perspectives
A. Accountability & Competence
C. Freedom (+ Liberty, Liberating)
D. Knowledge (+ Learning, Truth)
1. The Knowledge Explosion
2. Cynical Knowledge
E. Needs — Who Needs Them?
F. Progress (+ Progressive)
1. Up To Your Ass in Alligators?
G. Revolutionary (+ Radical)
III. Professing the Professions
A. What Are They?
B, Where Did They Come From?
C. Growing Criticism of Professionalism
1. History — FrOm Awe to "Awful"
2. Current "State of the Art"
1. Who Is an Expert?
2. "The Authority of Experts"
E. Professional Ethics
1. A Contradiction in Terms?
2. Doing Well By Doing Good?
3. "The Identity Crisis"
4. A Way Out? — "Professionalizing the Client"
F. Education & The Professions
1. Adult (or Continuing) Education
a. "Americanization" of Ad Ed
b. Beneficiaries of "School-Baiting"
2. The Academy
a. The Academy & Adult Ed
b. Are Professors Professionals?
3. Are You Armed with Credentials?
a. Did You Get the 3rd Degree?
b. Are You Certifiable?
c. Give Me Liberty Or Give Me a License?
4. Continuing Professional Ed (CPE)
a. "Those Lovely Tax-Deductible Cruises & Conferences"
b, "The Flamingo Who Learned To Keep Things in Proportion"
c. A Hippocratic Oath for Contin¬uing Professional Educators?
5. Mandatory CPE
a. A Raging Emotion-Arousing Controversy
b. The Specific Context
c. Does It Work?
d. How Is It Enforced?
e. In Specific Professions
f. Is "Voluntary" CPE The Answer?
G. Pour Professionally-Related Specters
a. Historical Background
b. "Success Manuals" For Women Professionals?
c. "Emerging" "Semi" Professions
d. The Present, & The Future
2. Bureaucracy a. History
b. Going By The Book?
c. The Future?
3. A New Class?
a. A Conservative Force?
b. A Liberal Force?
c. Marxists & The Professionals
d. "Lilies That Fester ..."
4. Merger Of Skill, Money, & Power
a. Community of $$$ & Bizness
b. Community of Scholars
c. "Equal Opportunity Is a Fraud"
IV. Whither the Future -- Wither or Flourish?
A. New Professionals?
1. Historical Forces
2. Prospects & Proposals
C. A New Age?
1. Old World Is Moribund?
3. West Meets East?
D. The Legacy of Albert Einstein?
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