en.subtitles (deel 2)

door Vulpius

Uit The Witness.


Well, that’s no better a solution than any of the others, is it?

So, in the end, have we learned anything from this look at why the world turned out the way it did that’s of any use to us in our future?
Something, I think. That the key to why things change is the key to everything. How easy is it for knowledge to spread?

And that, in the past, the people who made change happen were the people who had that knowledge, whether they were craftsmen or kings.

Today, the people who make things change, the people who have that knowledge, are the scientists and the technologists who are the true driving force of humanity. And before you say, “What about the Beethovens and the Michelangeloes,” let me suggest something with which you may disagree violently: that at best the products of human emotion: art — philosophy — politics — music — literature, are interpretations of the world, that tell you more about the guy who’s talking than about the world he’s talking about.

Secondhand views of the world made thirdhand by your interpretation of them. Things like that: — As opposed to this: —

Know what it is? It’s a bunch of amino acids, the stuff that goes to build up a — a worm, or a geranium, or you. This stuff’s easier to take, isn’t it?Understandable; got people in it. This, scientific knowledge, is hard to take because it removes the reassuring crutches of opinion, ideology, and leaves only what is demonstrably true about the world. And the reason why so many people may be thinking about throwing away those crutches is because, thanks to science and technology, they have begun to know that they don’t know so much and that if they’re to have more say in what happens to their lives, more freedom to develop their abilities to the full, they have to be helped towards that knowledge that they know exists and that they don’t possess. And by “helped towards that knowledge”, I don’t mean give everybody a computer and say “help yourself!”

Where would you even start? No, I mean, trying to find ways to translate the knowledge, to teach us to ask the right questions. See, we’re on the edge of a revolution in communications technology that is going to make that more possible than ever before. Or, if that’s not done, to cause an explosion of knowledge that will leave those of us who don’t have access to it as powerless as if we were deaf, dumb and blind.

And I don’t think most people want that. So what do we do about it? I don’t know.

But maybe a good start would be to recognize, within yourself, the ability to understand anything because that ability’s there, as long as it’s explained clearly enough. And then go and ask for explanations. And if you’re thinking right now, “What do I ask for?” Ask yourself if there’s anything in your life that you want changed. That’s where to start.