Mar 13 2012

Just a little bit of blissful ignorance

It’s great to learn
‘Cause knowledge is power!

If you’re a child of the early ‘80s, you’re familiar with that cute little ditty. Oh, Schoolhouse Rock, how I love thee. I can count by threes, recite the Preamble, and I sure know my conjunctions. Wish these were still on during Saturday morning cartoons, instead of the crap the boys watch.

I believed that line, “knowledge is power!” I still do. But sometimes I’d like to be left in the dark. Not the true dark, that’s why we have electricity. But the “ignorance is bliss” kind of dark. The “less is more” kind of dark. The kind of gentle ignorance I had before the internet came around and went steady with my intellectual overexcitabilities. It was kinda nice not knowing and not knowing that I didn’t know. And then running off to play.

While I still go to the library for books several times a week, it’s far too easy to hop online to feed the knowledge beast. I love that I can do that, find the cumulative sum of human knowledge a keystroke away. But there is just so much; it’s like drinking from a fire hose. So many things to learn, and there’s never an end point. There’s always more.  And more. And more. Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes it’s not. But it’s always overwhelming.

I miss the days of finding information in the encyclopedia. Those days are over; today it was announced that after 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica will cease production. I understand the decision, but a laptop just can’t press flowers like volume 8.

There will never be enough hours in a life to learn all that is available to modern man, nor is it worth the life that would be given in exchange. I need to put the knowledge beast on a diet. Knowledge may be power, but its price is a life well lived.


  1. Lakshmi

    I get so anxious when I hear of things stopping production. Like I need to go get the Encyclopedias now!

    Agreed, so much information and such little time.

    1. Jen

      I like to mess with my sons’ minds when we visit my inlaws. They have an ancient set of World Books in the basement. I tell the boys to go look up “internet.” Mwahahahahahaha!!!!

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