Education in the face of the knowledge half-life

In response to my post on the shortening half-life of knowledge a commenter in our telegram chat (You can join us at wrote:


… the area of education, there needs to be a focus on curriculum, not just to counter current trends, but to present examples of critical thinking and positive role models. Uphill battle on this front.

  1.  Most are absolutely not capable of critical thinking.
    Aristotle tells us in his “Rhetoric” that reason doesn’t appeal to most people. They are not critical thinkers.  It’s not because they weren’t taught.  They lack the horsepower, the inclination, the time, nutrition, and 1,000 other things necessary for them to START to be critical thinkers.  “Teaching” them critical thinking is a waste of time.  Additionally, since the half life of knowledge is shrinking, it’s important to pound “lindy” knowledge into people.  The lindy effect tells us that the older something is, the more likely it is to get even older.   This is the knowledge that is unlikely to be made obsolete.  This would be stuff like grammar, multiplication tables, phonics, dates of historic events, or geography.  Learn this stuff and it stays learned.
  2. In order to know what a positive role model is you must know what the good is.  This is the joint work of the philosopher in Socrates’ sense, and true religion.  Without having a strong tradition of both, your school will list George Floyd as a positive role model.

Again, Socrates was right.  We give most folks good training, and all the lindy knowledge they want, and leave the heavy lifting to the coming Philosopher King.

He was here for a little bit.  He’ll be back.


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