Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Desent of Man

From Jim Ronay

You hear a lot about biodiversity and how certain species are dying out. Could the same be true with certain types of people?

Are we witnessing the end of intellectual diversity and the demise of the individual mind? We are fortunate enough to be alive during what is almost certainly a second renaissance. The first (16th century) renaissance was brought about by the clash and movement of ideas caused by the invention of moveable type and printing. This second renaissance is being caused by a clash of cultures and information, this time caused by globalization and the Internet. But where are all the renaissance men and women? The answer, it seems, is at work. One of the key features of the first renaissance is how disciplines, experience, technology and ideas cross-fertilized each other to create new knowledge. This requires freedom and intellectual promiscuity. Crucially, it also requires men and women who know a little about a lot. But we are stuck in an educational paradigm where people are rewarded for learning a lot about a little.

Ref: Technology Review (US), May 2005, ‘Whither the renaissance man?’, M. Hawley. http://www.techreview.com

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