I find myself hungry for knowledge, but unsure about what to read to get said knowledge. I surf blogs looking for someone who “speaks” to me, without much success. Now I’m surfing the podcasts at iTunes and am trying out iTunes U.
I love listening to good speakers, people who present coherent thoughts in complete sentences with multi-syllabic words, and who are able to present their case and address any rebuttals without getting personal, off-topic or shallow. It is a nice change of pace from the talking heads on TV, and far more educational.
It’s funny what I find interesting: “Saturday Morning Physics” strikes me the way I’ve heard shoe stores strike more typical women. I look at the list of topics, like “String Theory: What is It Good for” and “The Music of Quantum Physics” and get all goose-bumpy about it.
There is something about listening to a voice (or watching someone speak), about hearing something explained with the intention of the listener learning something from it. It reminds me of the more exhilarating aspects of school – those moments when you actually learned something, when a connection was made, the lightbulb came on and something made sense. Often, that lightbulb came with a feeling, a shiver of joy from learning.
One reason for my desire to learn more is that there are things happening in the world that I would like to understand better. The quantum physics stuff is really a hobby thing, but the interest exists in part because of stuff like the movie “What the Bleep Do We Know?”. Other topics I find I want to understand better include economics and the history of the Middle East (oil, actually). I want to know what the background is for current conflicts, or at least know more that the evening news or the local newspaper with a photo taking up 3/4 of the page will tell me.
Sometimes I think I live in the best of times. No, I always think that, actually. Imagine, with a computer and an iPod, I can have access to information for free right in my own home, hear great talks, learn new things – and even get the dishes done! A whole library at my fingertips and the freedom to choose. I’m getting goosebumps again.