Georgina Guedes

Learning grows us

2013-07-04 08:22

Georgina Guedes

Another editor that I follow on Twitter tweeted this "@Mededitor's Law of Information: Any fact you learn, no matter how minor, arcane or specialized [he's American], will at some point prove useful to you."

To which I responded, "And frequently within the week." He replied, "Spooky how often that happens."

OK, so this was a discussion between two editors - people with a thirst for information - on Twitter, where most of the people I follow are clever and insightful, so we were likely to be of similar minds on the matter. But it got me thinking about another comment, from another, far cleverer person:

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'."

I always get a little thrill of significance when I read that quote, because it resonates with me. I am not someone who is degreed up to the neck, but I do have a great deal of respect for knowledge and learning - although I acknowledge that the two do not always go hand in hand.

Knowledge, whether it is bestowed upon eager minds by a university lecturer, or learnt by a young child lost in observation in a garden on a hot summer day, is the only mechanism by which we better ourselves. By gaining a better understanding of how the world works and our part in it, we can unfurl the tendrils of our own existence in ways that link us to other people and to our own future success.

As was revealed in the conversation between @mededitor and me, we both find that the little day-to-day increments of knowledge we gain simply by paying attention and taking joy in learning, frequently deliver a return on the investment of our interest, in a very short period of time.

I often come up with a fact or solution that people are astonished by. My most common response to the question, "How did you know that?" is, "I learnt it in school." Granted I went to a fairly good school, but the point remains that a great deal of the knowledge we are spoon-fed from an early age becomes relevant later in life, if we only hang on to it.

Which brings me back to Asimov's quote. So often, there is a celebration of mediocrity or a lack of interest in society. So often, scorn is directed at those who pursue knowledge. "Oh, so you like reading!" is not said in an admiring tone by certain segments of the population.

The point I am trying to get at is that we should never become complacent about learning. This is not a column about the failings of our education system (although there would be plenty justification for that), it is rather to implore or remind myself and my readers to continue to find joy in the pursuit of knowledge, however it presents itself.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

Send your comments to Georgina

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

- News24


The testimony that sunk him

2014-04-18 07:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router

Huawei B683 21Mbps 3G Wireless Router The B683 wireless gateway (hereinafter...

From R1671.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.