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Old 01-03-2011, 10:23 AM   #1
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
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Deliberations on the transmission of knowledge

Note to self, a teacher and a student.

They say 'knowledge is power', and yes, it is, in the sense that bestows a form social and political power on the knowledge-wielder. There will always be honest seekers of knowledge, but nevertheless psychologically and emotionally weak. Those with knowledge will be presented with the opportunity to shoehorn their ideologies on these weak people, making out of them something beyond a student: a blind-faith devotee, a fanatic.

I find it interesting to navigate myself in a field (like martial arts), where people with knowledge can narrow the terms used in conversation between himself and the knowledge seeker. With this he can establish a hegemonic discourse (an unchallenged way of speaking to put it briefly) and can literally bring fanatics out of honest seekers--you can turn a supporter and instill in him a kind of loyalty that will make him politically hostile towards other ways and approaches. In other words, sycophancy at its lowest.

What implications does this have for the one with knowledge and the seeker?

As I mentioned above, 'knowledge is power' is not so much a proverb to juice your adrenaline and motivate you to seek knowledge so that you can feel powerful; it is more a warning to those who wield knowledge. It is easy to fall into the trap of pushing your worldview/ideology on weak students by baiting them with the knowledge you possess. While you have the knowledge, your perception of the knowledge is still subject to hermeneutical issues--that is, your perception is an interpretation and is embodied in a set of language that is subject to deconstruction. Should you become a teacher, bear in mind that the terms you set for conversation with the student will not by default transmit knowledge. Adapting and experimenting with the method and doing dirty work with the students will be the most ideal bring about a fluid yet efficient transmission model.

For the student, it is best that you have no political associations with any teacher. Even if you have a teacher with great knowledge, devoting yourself politically to this one teacher will bring about a risk that will halt your progression in acquiring the knowledge you're pursuing. There is a risk that the teacher's transmission method is flawed (his terms are not phenomenologically convenient, for example), or that the teacher itself is a solipsistic, power-hungry fascist, and is consciously aware that setting the terms for conversation is what will bring about sycophants, used only as fodder to satisfy the ego (acquiring a bit of the knowledge is only a by-product in this relationship between weak student and tyrant teacher). In either case, it is best to see these teachers as information sources, some among many. It is also best that you have a community of like-minded people, so that you collectively hash out the implications of the work, transmitted through a potentially flawed model. You see yourself in a field of information, making connections with the different objects in the field. You use the different information sources, cross-reference each source, see what cross-pollinates. Where things overlap, you will sure be sure to find principal. Practise in accordance to these principals, and any innovations will be checked and referred to the different information sources. This way, the information does not get lost in the sea of tyrants and poor teachers. In the mean time, look for the best way to codify the knowledge in such a way that the knowledge can be transmitted without the need for political allegiances.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
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