Democratic Knowledge: Expertise in the General Public

Is progress and inclusion always a good thing? At times it may seem that our society depends on educating as many people as possible since school, but elitist attitudes also exist inside the academic world. We are also basically required to go to college and at least get a bachelor’s degree in order to get any career or sustained job that pays well in our economy. It seems that even the bachelor’s is becoming somewhat useless and a master’s degree is becoming more and more crucial. There are definitely many ways to look at this situation and who knows which position is correct. We will all have to wait and see what the future brings while theorizing possible problems and how to fix them when they arise.

The best aspect of requiring so much education to get by in our economy is that it also makes it much easier to be a more educated population that can take more control over our personal lives. Democratizing anything is usually a good thing. College is very expensive, but we need to make sure that everyone is educated so that everyone will have an equal opportunity to have a livable career as long as they also work hard. As of now, we have already gotten to the point where many college classes are online and professors are becoming more of our equals instead of authority. Easy access to subject material makes learning much easier and more efficient. I think the best part of easy access is that school work itself isn’t too easy now. College curriculum is becoming more difficult and homework is more open to interpretation and analysis than just fact. With all of the facts laid in front of us, it gives plenty of room to think more than just memorize and regurgitate information. We are also capable of doing and saying a lot more in a short amount of time with our technology and knowledge.

A possibility of knowledge, expertise, and academia becoming useless is always a fear for the future just like the bachelor’s degree is becoming useless and the high school degree is almost completely useless for most jobs as well. If everyone is capable of knowing everything and knowledge is truly democratized, then the need for any amount of schooling or qualification may completely cease. There is also a worry that once we find all of the answers to our society we will run out of ideas to entertain ourselves. I believe that part of what makes living enjoyable is to solve more of life’s problems. Even a hobby  can be analyzed deeper as a desire to contribute one’s emotions or release tension for emotions that generate from life’s daily obstacles. If one has no obstacles to conquer, is life meaningful anymore? Would we all descend into a deep depression or would we become slothful and unappreciative of our privileges and then stop developing any more thoughts? Something could go wrong with our technology and then people may not be able to do anything to fix it if they have given up on thinking and the value of thinking.

Some of these ideas could be conspiracy theories based on some science fiction analogies, but I think there should be some limits on who acquires knowledge. It is important to make sure most of our society is knowledgeable, but we have to ensure that we improve the economy as a whole and make sure we have plenty of jobs to give to all areas of expertise and give everyone a purpose. We need to value our society’s knowledge as a whole a lot more before we can successfully disperse knowledge throughout our society.

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