Transient ephemera

This may be my last entry…

‘NOW, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!’

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870) – Hard Times (1854)

I love facts. From childhood I have filled my head full of them and it has served me well. I am pretty good at trivia quizzes and interested enough to know a fair amount on a range of topics without having to scurry for the internet every time I have a conversation. Gradgrind is wrong though, facts are not education – facts are transient and ephemeral, they last for a certain amount of time and them are replaced by new facts.

It’s not worth just being a fact junkie, things will always change and you will, if you aren’t 100% on the ball, be left behind.

I think the important thing is to know when you simply don’t know and not try to bluff your way through. It’s disappointing to me when someone says “Ha, I’ve found something you don’t know about” but it’s also a beginning – the next time I’m asked about that subject, I will have researched it and gained as much knowledge as I can. There will always be gaps and things I am simply not interested in but education is eternal – the more we know, the more questions there are to ask and the more answers there are to find.

If you haven’t read Hard Times I can recommend it.

Thanks for reading, now if you’ll excuse me, I am trying to find out what the proper name for the people of Birmingham is.


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