Q: French novelist Anatole France wrote: "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't." What don't you know?
There once were a computer and a typewriter, each which occupied its own space. While the computer dwelled in a swanky and expansive info-tech lab, the typewriter lived in a drab, windowless cubicle.
As I sit in the cubicle, I am content.
Just me with my thoughts, helped out by a typewriter that I can't remember not having. Just me beside the cubicles of a few close colleagues, whom I don't remember not knowing. Like our typewriters, we all lead simple lives of minimal stress, flexible schedules, and mellow relationships. We do what we can with our given resources. For the most part, we keep to ourselves; for instance, I take care of myself by doing yoga, drinking plenty of water, and using my typewriter to make diary entries so as to not forget my life. The numerous errors made on the typewriter do not bother me in the least. No one can evade them, so why should anyone try?
As I stand in the computer lab, anxiety hits.
In front of me, a woman conducts an online business meeting with her colleagues in Norway. To the left, a boy remixes a song for the next CNN special presentation. To the right, a man programs a robot for placement in a prosthetic toe.
I open my blog, mindlessly type in a line of babble, tap the backspace button, subconsciously shift to Flickr, get lost in the millions of different eyes and heaths and ways the sun touches the water. Next, I might research essays on empiricism or look up the history of education systems in Portugal and Brazil.
It's not a small world, after all.
I question the world as we know it. How did we realize our needs for communication-healthcare-financial institutions-art? Why are we so smart? Perhaps our tendency to create has become a habit; once we formed language we later realized our needs to express emotions, synchronize it with music, and share it across great distances... Truthfully, everything is connected.
I question why everyone on the planet doesn't lose a bit of sleep over our achievements. Time has made us accustomed to the state of the world, but we have only occupied one percent of Earth's existence. Right now, we all have our positions and abilities, which we essentially take for granted. I know that there are so many of us that the world runs perfectly well without my worries and what-if's. Just call me another idiosyncrasy in this whimsical world.
Size matters; I cannot decide which size of context to take on. In the cubicle-my egocentric childhood mind-do I make a difference? In the computer lab-my haywire, adult awareness-am I only thinking globally and timelessly, while too stupefied by the sheer enormity of the world to really do anything? Is it wrong to think that with so many paths available, my life resembles a probability problem?
I limit myself to suggest that we should appreciate limits. Not ignorance, but-in the words of poet John Keats-"negative capability": functioning normally while still aware of uncertainties.
A few words over, no problem. It's just... THIS ESSAY MAKES MY BRAIN GO IN CIRCLES
. I don't want the central question to be like "What should my priorities be?"
but...would that be a bad question? If the question were "Should I pick cubicle or computer lab?"
then I've answered my own question. Is that also a bad thing?
AAAAH there are so many examples I could include, but it's so hard to decide what points really make the essay strongest.