(On the Importance of Keeping Updated)
One reason I enjoy checking out profiles of friends and acquaintances on Facebook is because I get to have a glimpse of other people’s mindsets and worldviews, how they think and how they react to various issues. This somehow helps me validate and reaffirm or reconsider and reassess my own ideas and opinions. Reading postings on Facebook can be a fun way to practice psychoanalysis—we get to analyze not only other people’s mode of thinking but also our own.
For instance, I read a post on Facebook that declared, “Ang tunay na matalino ay hindi nagre-review; umaasa lang sa stock knowledge [‘A truly intelligent person doesn’t review; s/he relies on stock knowledge’].”
Do you agree with that?
I don’t. To me, the person who posted that statement is simply giving a haughty excuse not to study, justifying procrastination or mere laziness.
Being finished with schooling doesn’t mean you’re done with learning. Literature, science, technology, language, culture, and other bodies of knowledge are like living things—they grow, develop, change, evolve, and may even assume new definitions and descriptions as new discoveries are made. As rational beings—and especially to parents who have schoolchildren—we need to keep up with the changes and developments. This can slow down the widening of the gap that inevitably develops between older and younger generations.
If we rely only on our stock knowledge—sets of information usually learned back in our student days—we take the risk of nurturing a mindset that has become outdated, obsolete, and irrelevant. What was true in the past may no longer hold true in the present, so we should always be in check if what we have in stock in our brains is still correct and relevant. How? Simple: By taking the time to read and do bits of research and by acknowledging that people, regardless of age, need to study.
Some Old Facts that No Longer Hold True
Here are examples of old information that I learned during my elementary and highschool days which no longer hold true today. If I haven’t been continually updating my knowledge, relying only on my stock knowledge, I would not know the current updates.
Old/obsolete information: There were nine planets in the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Current fact: In 2006, Pluto has been demoted into a dwarf planet, joining Ceres and Eris and other smaller celestial bodies orbiting the Sun. So, now there are eight planets in the Solar System.
Old/obsolete information: The Philippine national language was Tagalog.
Current fact: Since 1987, the Philippine national language is officially called Filipino.
Old/obsolete information: Geographically, Canada was divided into 10 provinces—Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador and Newfoundland, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan—and two territories—Yukon and Northwest Territories.
Current fact: Now Canada has 10 provinces and three territories. In 1999, Nunavut separated officially from Northwest Territories via the Nunavut Act, making it Canada’s third territory.
The Last Leaf
A truly intelligent person is someone who regularly studies and learns new information. By continually updating our knowledge, we remain in touch with the current worldview. In the Internet age, this is not a difficult task anyway; all we really need are a sense of curiosity and a passion for learning.