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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What He Said.

An education is not just a technical training in the arcane knowledge of a discipline (whether that be history, politics or a science). It is a training in how to think and evaluate, how to marshal evidence for and against a position, how to approach a problem critically without falling prey to prejudice and preconception. Those are skills that everyone from bank manager to politician, journalist to local government functionary, needs every working day. But to train those skills, it is necessary to excite an interest. And somewhere along the line between primary school and university, we are managing to stamp out that sense of excitement and enquiry. We will rue the day we lost sight of that.

--Robin Dunbar, “How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks.

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