Wednesday, March 14, 2007

And there we go again

Today learned that half of the pupils in secondary school in Belgium no longer can perform mental arithmetics. Further on in the day I found out that when entering university these days people have to be subjected to extra lessons because they simply do need meet the intended standards to start university courses. And, still on the same footing, I learned a few weeks ago that there are hardly any future medievalists who understand Latin, which is a bit of a problem if you consider that Latin was the lingua franca of the Middle Ages. Add to this the already mentioned one in six Flemish people who cannot read, write or perform a simple mathematical calculation and you know there is something horribly rotten in the state of today's scholar system.

The problem is of course that people these days confound knowledge with information. They think that when they have been informed about something (and, let us be honest: who is not informed in this age of information overload?) that they have knowledge about it. But that would imply that the information delivered is also correct (in a scientific way, if you will) and complete.

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