sociology

BOOKS & TABLES

​How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living? 

Henry David Thoreau

What is school for? From a young age, we are taught how to think, behave and interact with the world around us. When we do as we are told, its in order that we may mature and grow in our given societies. 

Life is a learning process and experience. Its no surprise, groups and various organisations were brought up to structure this very need in life. These formal places of learning became bigger, better and more prevalently with ideas and concepts which broaden the worldview of anyone willing to listen and learn. 

Education, its root word educare means to bring up or to bring out of.  Education at elementary and university level, in greater detail was meant to teach us how to live. As such, it goes without saying education itself goes beyond the walls of academia.

In the walls of academia, we as such should be met with questions and discoveries pertaining lifes fundamentals like who we are what really matters, where our society is going. 

In the early 19th century with the age of enlightenment, declining of religious doctrine and growing scepticism around god, there was a growing need for a more formal organised institution of higher learning. 

This higher learning would act as an introduction of societal harmony, unity and a greater effectiveness toward living. Education at its roots was meant to aid as well, help us live and create better societies with one equal strong and intellectual voice.

To many educationalists and others scholars of thought, formal education was seen not only to be a key stone in the advancement of thought and development of mankind but, an emergent tool of self-reliance, communal co-dependence and structural information control. 

In one way, rational educative thought wasnt only to replace religious dogma to an extent, but build upon the fundamental intentions of it.
With this in mind, its puzzling to note, that the foundational spirit of educational institutions isnt being met at most places worldwide currently. The common ailments that were spoken topics among religions seem alien and the learning experience is at most as passive as todays newspaper.

Important questions are being answered academically but, it seemed to be just that. Very few times do we see a progressive and healthy blossoming change toward culture and interactions, toward society as a whole from the people that once walked the very important places that are so culturally emphasized.

The big issues, the real issues are but issues. We see specific departments dealing with specific ideas and issues but, mostly in the archaic sense rather than the core principles in the beginning of the studies itself, which was of course, to learn but learning that bridges us to live better. 

Learning that guides us to avoid the mistakes of others past and build upon issues related to a concept that better purifies and grows a better people in a better society.

For the evolution of society and revival of the initial idea of education, a rebranding and redirection toward educational institutions is in need. If its all about money, being often the case, then we doom over selves.

We need courses and information that wont only inform us of our past as humanity or ideas about someone or sometime or something but, that broaden and teach us about ourselves, teach as how to act and why to act. As a place of academia should be a places that should teach us to live, love and die well.

Theres a new tribunal now higher than Gods – the educated man 

Robert Browing 

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IN THE MEDIA WE TRUST

​”One of our chief national faults is our hypocritical desire to suppress the truth on the pretext that to admit it would encourage sin, whereas the real explanation is that we are afraid of the truth. I will not be guilty of that fault. I do like to look a fact in the face without blinking.”

Arnold Bennet

The internet and media in general has made our lives easier. Now answering this question on the internet itself sounds a little hypocritical don’t you think? The 21st century – an information age, everything you may want and need to know at the tips of our fingers like never before. 

The internet is such a huge part of modern life and media is now significant in the expanding space for news and information. Both have not yet displaced or revolutionized traditional journalism or your standard library to terminus, but are the most profound force in changing the way we think, the way we consume news about the world and how we learn about the world around us.

Henceforth, it is not a bad idea that we should have a proper, firm and or skeptic mind about whether we can trust the information, analysis of it as we are presented with the here’s and there’s of the world.

In truth, the internet and media has it fair share of delights, debonairs, hoaxes, showmanship and bluffs, Which is not to say despite the bad there’s no other place purely good in our lives for us to acquire news feeds, articles, stories, highlights and reports. 

We love a story, to communicate, learn and be informed of what the hell is going on in the world right? Disaster news, economic and political turmoil makes us cry and reflect. Celebrations and exciting events move us and bring the ideas of praise and happiness.

 Facts and discovery change  The way we perceive the world and information in itself challenges us to what we can become. And modernly, the internet and media are where we gather to hear, see and absorb all these, but the framing or structure of where we get our information is as important.

The point of the information is equally as important. It’s either told for the purpose of telling and getting it out there, or simply told to promote or sale or for some political and economical bullshit cliché.

Acknowledging and listening to both can be worth the thought as long as we know which is which. In an age where people profiting from the information it shares, its no surprise verification is taken for granted and with our human inclination or brain’s inclination to trust what looks good quick or follow the herd, this can be our downfall.

One may say it’s harmless right nobody gets hurt (think again), of course, I don’t expect everything ever written, posted, tweeted, a news channel or verbally said to be called true, but we do expect and acknowledge that every story, news article and report reported on by a huge media organization or reliable website to be, because that’s what they’re for. But what happens when they don’t live up to what they promise?

Of course, the media and internet are not our enemies or pointless at that, we must tread careful on what we choose to accept as true.

Father of post modernism Jean Baudrillard in “The Priest of Pomo” says, “its not the lack of information that makes the news meaningless but proliferation of images that make it meaningless.” and depending on where you get your news from:  2pac is still alive, Small green aliens exist and the female orgasm is a myth. 

There’s always a counter positive or opposite to every event, story or information and these numerous interpretations don’t make the world exactly or easily accessible but, the explosion of information makes the ability to understand the world nearly impossible.

These illusive displaces reduce war to theatre, love to lust, drugs to candy, disease to telethon ,hunger to magazine cover, misfortune to fate, peace and stability to magic and the human condition to mere acting and pleasure. 

The untamed media and internet if not put in place will absorb us and make us buy what its offering as it makes us think we are gaining information about actual events and ideas but, in truth gives as copies that are easily ingested by a society trained to accept advertising, suggestion and disinformation.

Jean Baudrillard says “we choose to be fooled.” We apparently love the lie. In the world of social media today we are no longer passive speculators, we interact, create and dictate news. We are the screen, editor and reporter. Same goes with your own life, be careful what you choose to accept, believe and absorb. 

Of course, all in all there is no 100% way of knowing exactly every detail of an event or concept but, sitting down with our junks in our hands isn’t a good option either. Seeing the internet and media as a relevance not an idealized notion of truth is but a must.

Here are some things to keep in mind with our sources on the internet or media;

-Who is behind the source?

-Is it an institution or person?

-Where does it originally come from?

-Is the article or work personally or objectively written?

– Evidence to back claim?

-Does it have many or none citation to other sources?

– Peer review anyone?

“Media is just a word that has come to mean bad journalism.”

Graham Greene