When I was a kid My grandfather would talk about the great depression and working a bullock team up and down what is now the Stewart highway supplying the railway workers building the ghan and delivering mail to outback stations and we believed him because he was there and he was a man known for honesty that was just the way it was.
When I moved to the city as a child and suddenly was the only white Caucasian in a Italian community made up of immigrants from Calabria and Naples and Sicily, I believed them when they taught me Italian because once I was fluent other Italians understood me an replied and laughed at my jokes. I didn’t question if what they were teaching me was Italian or Chinese, because they were Italian and their word was their bond.
I started judo not long after I started school and my sensei the late great Neil Ballard taught me kata, I never questioned him because he held 7 dans in kodokan judo are you following my point? The theme of my dissertation? When I was younger you simply sought out a expert, someone had spent a life in the relative area and you took their word this was after all how encyclopedias were written, how atlas’s were made and how whether you’re christian or religious in any way how all holy books were written.
Yet with centuries of this as the way of the world, suddenly someone who has never left a zip code wouldn’t know the Stewart highway from the orient express and thinks kodokan is a computer game can write computer code call it Wikipedia and they are thrown up in my face as being demigods of information?
Recently I wrote a story on the discrimination against the disabled by the Abbot governent from Australia, and suddenly I was bombarded by Eco warriors telling me Australia was horrible and kangaroos were close to extinction? After I almost fell over with the ridiculousness of the claim, I asked with what expertise they made this claim only to find out they were Swedish college students who had read it on Wikipedia started an online petition so three pieces of information online now made them credible but they had never in fact ever stepped foot outside of Stockholm and only ever seen a roo in the zoo?. I on the other hand was born in the outback in Australia, had grown up with mobs of roos numbering sometimes in the thousands roaming the very land I was born on yet I was made to look a fool because they had Wikipedia?
Have we come to an age when life experience matters for nothing? I will never see 50 again and have spent over 40 of those years in the study of judo, and every child judoka had drummed into them that in 1882 Dr Jigoro Kano a Jiujitsu master took all the lethal blows out of jiujitsu and formed judo in kodokan japan. In 2012 a 14 year old from Germany who freely admitted the closest he came ever to a dojo was in a computer game quoted an online Wikipedia equivalent that it was founded from Brazilian jiujitsu in the 1940’s and he was lauded as the expert because he could quote a website?
Has PHD come to mean PLEASE HARRASS DAILY? Do we no longer applaud life’s work, scholastic excellence and a life’s dedication to a sport or an art?
Of course I move with the times, I use a computer in every waking moment and I am fascinated by young geniuses of the 21st century.What however annoys me is they decry the sage experience earned through years of life and dedication, in exchange for a press of a keyboard or a quick type into a smart phone yet from whom do they think the facts were sought out from? How many decades of scholastic dedication did they think it took to build the buildings where they gathered into the hallowed halls of that they graduated from as young savants?
The arrogance of youth will not stop me from writing, it will not stop my tired withered keyboard from clattering away. It will simply never cease to amaze me that no matter how many shoulders of excellence they now stand on to reach their lofty goals they simply never look down and recognize those holding them up so they can sprout their assumptive utterings of youth where they claim the poll position in the cognitive race of life.
I may be sounding like someones grandma who started every sentence with a sigh and the words”in my day” but I simply ask of our juvenile candidates for Mensa that before they type http://www.wikipedia.com in an attempt to rule the cyber world they simply take a moment and think what would they have had to do before the prefix WWW existed and then just maybe realize that if their cognitive opponent was around back then they might just know what their talking about.