Knowing does take place: choose well what you are going to learn

Knowing does take place: choose well what you are going to learn

Of all the aphoristic flares, the one that strikes me the most is that of "knowledge does not occupy place." If so, which it isn’t, you don’t have time to learn it all. You have to sift. If everything was worth the same, as it seems to be inferred, why are not all the pokémon in class memorized?

I feel less alone knowing that at least Unamuno already said it before me more than a century ago, mutatis mutandis, in The Teaching of Latin in Spain (1894):

The fatal aphorism that "knowledge does not occupy place" is heard at all hours, to which, even if it were not an error to the letter, because knowledge occupies place, this other could always be opposed: "Learning takes time", and time is money.

Learn what is important

In addition, as has already been said, knowledge does take place, except for all the time we need to acquire and process it. Robert Birge , a professor and researcher at the University of Connecticut who analyzed the storage capacity of proteins, he estimated between 1 and 10 Terabytes in the year 1996, assuming that a neuron was a bit.

Closer in time, in 2008, I considered in an interview for the radio that it could actually be something closer to 30 or 40 Terabytes , since the brain does not store information in the same way as a computer.

It is a lot of information, but it is not all information. In addition, even if there are eventually people who can remember everything, this is not convenient: learning also happens by forgetting, and by overlooking, and by looking for more patterns instead of just raw information . In fruit flies, for example, a recent study has tried to describe physiologically how both learning and forgetting happen, and how they sometimes overlap.

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Perhaps, instead of accepting that all knowledge is worth learning because we have an unlimited brain, we should forget about such aphorisms and bet on those that remind us what is most important.

For example, according to Richard Dawkins , it is the following: knowing how double-blind control experiments work and how knowledge is acquired and validated . That would allow us to have a much more refined cognitive equipment. What would prevent us from having centers like the one in the previous photo, or sellers of smoke like Master Bayo or Vandana Shiva: