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Friday, 10 March 2006

Comments

Eric Briys

Hi Santiago,

I buy your post 100%. However it is not only a matter of arrogance. It is also a matter of attitude. I can't resist quoting Umberto Eco. Eco's personal library is said to have roughly 30,000 books. Nothing upsets Eco more than a person telling him: "Amazing, professor and you've read all this." What Eco expects from his or her visitor is something like: "Professor, lucky you, all these gems sitting on your shelves waiting to be discovered!" Our own (modest) experience at Cyberlibris also applies to faculty members. Being a former faculty member myself I am always struck by the fact that professors when they look at our book collections look for what they know and (sometimes) give us a hard time when it is not there (you can't have everything but can commit to strive for it: As always attitude beats latitude). This behavior suggests one observation which we usually turn into an advice to faculty members. We ask them to do us a favor: Look again at the catalog and tell us how many books are around that they did not know about and that are good candidates. I know habits are habits. But, faculty members should themselves recognize that they don't know much either and that when they think they know it is often ex-post rationalization. Indeed, all of us are good at telling stories that we find confortable, that help us live a bearable life, especially faculty members! The sad part is that MBA students love listening to such stories: It allows them to cope with the extra stress that, among other things, taking an MBA implies!

Rightly so, Santiago, humility is the best policy!

Karene

Hi Santiago,

I enjoyed your post on wisdom and ignorance. Indeed, people do not generally like being told they are stupid (even if it is the brutal truth). As the philosopher Alfred Whitehead once wrote, "Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge."
Humility is important, but I think the truth is the best policy (for the individual and the world).

I have just finished working on the Education section of my Philosophy Shop. I hope that you might find it interesting food for thought.

All the best,
Karene

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henry

'Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education. ... Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.' (Jean Jacques Rousseau)

Could anyone let me know the sources of the quotation (year, book?)

Thanks

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