Karli Kloss in ‘Going the Extra Mile Benefits All,’ printed in the Tuesday, April 12 issue of The Miami Student seems to confuse knowledge and information, understanding and glibness. She is certainly very glib and writes better than the average Miami Student columnist. But she is naïve in her belief that studying is obsolete because everything can be found on the Internet. It is the hands-on experience of reading texts and making arguments that equips one to evaluate the material on the Internet and to make something new of it. And yet, the sadness that creeps into her tone suggests that Kloss understands on some level that a plot summary of those eight cantos is not the same as a deep knowledge of and appreciation for the poetry of Spencer’s Faerie Queene and that even the best translation of Flaubert will never be as elegant as the original French.
What is missing from her analysis is any acknowledgement of the market forces that cause people to value mere information at the expense of experience and understanding. At a time when the only things that count are things that can be counted, we are all encouraged to become mere consumers of information, rather than thinkers and creators. When the university makes curricular decisions according to these same criteria, is it any wonder that students learn the lesson?