On Knowledge For Its Own Sake


“It’s an extraordinary thing, it’s always the children who say “sir, sir, what’s the point of geometry or what’s the point of Latin” who end up having no job, being alcoholic and they don’t notice that the ones that actually find knowledge for its own sake and pleasure in information and history and the world and nature around us are actually getting on and doing things with our fucking lives. It’s an odd thing.”

– Stephen Fry

9 thoughts on “On Knowledge For Its Own Sake

  1. Knowledge is an awesome thing as is life long learning. Schooling however, is an entirely different ball of wax. Some of the most ignorant people in the world are the highly educated.

  2. I like to learn things that appear to have no practical application at all (which doubtless explains why I’m such an avid follower of The Knowledge Guild), as I have found that once the information is absorbed, sooner or later a need arises to which I can apply it. I can hardly wait to see what future need will be satisfied by my newly-acquired knowledge that kangaroos have three vaginas!

  3. I can not deny I used to be one of this kids. Through life I had discovered most of this displeasure towards almost everything that ain’t easy is most likely to be a patron during teenage years. You get to identify that most of the teens are the ones who complain about whatever they think they should. I used to be one of them. I didn’t get why should I learned about stoichiometry, balancing equations, learning light refraction and equations regarding speed and sound and too many other things I wasn’t (and I am still not) good at the time. Specially when I was supposed to study psychology, something that had nothing to do with numbers. Gee, could I had been more wrong… Not only because, indeed, psychology may have lots to do with numbers, so you may imagine my surprise when I had to study statistics and stuff like that. Then, with time, I got to know that not only for science, engineering or psychology where maths and related needed, but also they where used in life. The greatest example I’ve ever had was at my parents’ office. They are both lawyers (and so they have a psychologist daughter…). I noticed they work using the method if demonstrations well known and used in geometry, where formulas combine together to show up certain hypothesis over the perimeter, diameter or whatever you want to know about a figure.
    Rather than using formulas, they do use this demonstrations to show up why someone may or may not be guilty of certain crime.
    School may not be life, and maybe you may learn a lot more out of the classrooms, but scholars may be more advanced thanks to the books and knowledge they acquired at their school, because that is the place that prepares your thinking and mentality to later go farther.

  4. And to further confirm your point, you’d be amazed at how handy learning the principles of light refraction becomes, if one is trying to develop an expertise in the table games of billiards, snooker or pool.

  5. I used to like Steve Fry but this was the comment that made me realise he is a hypocrite.

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