The Epistemist

…on the knowledge journey

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The best way to find out…

March 31st, 2008 · No Comments · learning

We were ready to watch a movie with my seven-year-old daughter, and she was getting impatient with all the opening credits. “Mom, what is this movie about? Mom? Mom? What is it? Mom??” I said – “Well, the best way to find out is to …” and I paused, waiting for her to finish with “… watch it”. But instead, she said, without missing a beat, “… look it up on the Internet”. At first, I was alarmed. Is this where the society is going? Skimming the movie summary instead of watching the movie, browsing the Amazon reviews instead of reading the book, reading newsclips through Brijit instead of reading the New Yorker and the Economist…But then I realized that not everything was lost. She watched the movie (it was The Underdog) with great pleasure, and then watched it again the next day, and, as far as I know, was planning to watch it next weekend as well. So knowing what the movie was about did not spoil the pleasure for her. In fact, it made it more fun, because it removed the anxiety of not knowing how it would end. Having the pre-existing framework of the movie content allowed her to focus on the action. Which means that after reading Amazon reviews, when she starts reading them, she probably will read the books. There is hope yet.

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