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A prerequisite of a comprehensive analysis of T.S. Eliot's famous quotation is a definition for each of the salient words he adduces.

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Introduction

TOK II: Paper 1 Daniel King A prerequisite of a comprehensive analysis of T.S. Eliot's famous quotation is a definition for each of the salient words he adduces. Knowledge is data itself; understanding and erudition, acquired through study or experience. The paradigm of information can best be understood by finding the concept that the word stands for: communication. The word information implies a systematic collection of data or knowledge and its transmission to one or more recipients. Wisdom entails a vastly different paradigm; the knowledge that has been accumulated must now be manipulated in such a way that practical application is possible, truth can be discovered, right can be discerned from wrong through profound contemplation, and a long-term analysis of ramifications can be conducted. Once these three essentialist definitions are understood, the meaning of Eliot's assertion, and its accuracy, can be grasped: A human being can, because information is available in such copious quantities in the Information Age, be over-encumbered with knowledge. The nascent Globalization movement has, on a cosmopolitan scale, been a catalyst for change in every major field of human endeavour. The implications of this recent phenomenon on humanity's pursuit of knowledge have been staggering. ...read more.

Middle

However, an urban Information Age lifestyle, with all the noise and clutter that entails, implies that your mind is being consistently bombarded with knowledge. A typical day at home for an Information Age teenager might involve spending time with the TV blaring, a vociferous sound system, a loquacious sibling, and an overprotective parent, each perpetually attempting to transmit knowledge to the aforementioned teenager. With the aforesaid distractions so palpable in the busy background of modern life, quiet contemplation becomes, if not an impossibility, an unbelievably challenging endeavour. It is precisely this type of thoughtful reflection that, regrettably, is becoming rarer and rarer these days, that proliferates wisdom. Not coincidentally, wisdom, the application of obtained knowledge, is an asset indispensable to success in the Theory of Knowledge course, and thus the completion of a thought-provoking essay. The example of knowledge saturation that was adduced in the above paragraph is a microcosm of mass media's relationship with its consumers. The confused teenager who is really just trying to do his homework, but is being shouted at by his family, is analogous to the white collar workers who watch CNN while they drowsily stray into slumber. ...read more.

Conclusion

Part of this lip service involved an attack against what was termed "Jewish physics." The manifestation of this propaganda offensive employed a number of relatively incompetent German physicists lecturing a crowd on the supposedly fallacious nature of Einsteinian physics. During this farce, Albert Einstein sat in the crowd, occasionally chuckling sardonically. He not only knew how ridiculous the display was, but also that the assembled multitudes were entranced by the lecturers, and that the propagandists could have said anything and the throng of onlookers would have agreed wholeheartedly. In large part, the Nazi propaganda campaign was successful because it flooded its consumers' minds with information. It was the recipients' lack of wisdom that perpetuated the lies, and prevented them from discerning between right and wrong, and arriving at the truth. Ironically, for centuries, humanity has used knowledge, information and consequently, wisdom to stimulate progress and create more powerful technologies, which have eventually been manipulated in such a way that, in many cases, our wisdom has been abrogated. Consequently, many components of humanity would likely be too unwise to comprehend this cruel trick that it has, unknowingly, played on itself. The poignancy of T.S. Eliot's quotation has been proven, and thus the problem of knowledge in question has been elucidated. 2 ...read more.

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