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Showing posts from September, 2014

To think, to care

David Foster Wallace's commencement speech addressed to Kenyon College 2005 graduates is the most profound and practical. And frankly the most important:

1) It zeroes in on what education is for: the system to develop critical thinking.
As I'm sure you guys know by now, it is extremely difficult to stay alert and attentive, instead of getting hypnotised by the constant monologue inside your own head (may be happening right now). Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. Think of the old cliché about &quo…