Friday, August 27, 2010

Back to the Tabula Rasa

There was an occasion sometime during the dying months of 2006 when I had cause to mention that ignorance was finally dead. I was in Kerala at the time, a state lauded for its amazingly advanced socio-economic indicators (numbers that are still at odds with most of the rest of the country), and its steady supply of courageous and inventive entrepreneurs to the rest of the world. The circumstances behind making the claim were that I was being challenged by a retired doctor about a certain statement of fact that he was sure I was wrong about. And backed by the whole-hearted belief that in the age of the internet, information about almost anything would be rigorously dissected by hundreds of subject matter experts and an individual’s claim to truth almost instantaneously fact-checked and verified (or exposed) when subjected to the scrutiny of this holy repository of the sum of the world’s knowledge, I challenged him right back. He did not take me up on it – I suppose he was less interested than I about the small and insignificant point of contention at hand, and was also perhaps a little worried that the chance at being found out could have cost him some measure of dignity. In hindsight, I confess that I do sympathize with him - in a notoriously insular and patriarchal society that is Kerala’s (whatever the statistics say), that kind of dignity still means a lot.

I still believe, four years on, that the Information Revolution that is the Internet’s greatest bequest to this generation, holds so much promise in that hallowed quest to defeat pervasive ignorance, and to solve some of the world’s greatest problems…

'...Most true it is, that I have looked on truth askance and strangely...' 
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 110

1 comment:

  1. Teach your kid colour names,alphabets,maths and much more at