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Literacy — Who Cares October 4, 2014

Posted by anagasto in history, language.
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(C) P.R.

Literacy is an ability to read and write. That is a traditional definition, and there are others depending on where you live.

In some countries computer literacy may have to be included in the definition. In some jobs, just a good reading ability might be  enough.

The definition is not stable. In some poor countries many people learn how to read, but so slowly that it is of no use. In some advanced countries, everybody learns how to read at school, but that ability is allowed to shrivel up later, because

Why Read?

Most answers to this question are utilitarian insisting on advantages of the social and monetary kind. There are many.

However, the best reason to read is that maybe there exists something yu wanted to know. Is there really anybody who doesn’t want to know anything at all?

How do you find out if it is not part of any TV program? In the past there was only 1 answer: books.

And in the more distant past, books were expensive. Knowledge was expensive. Even famous Goethe complained that he spent his inheritance on science books.

Now knowledge is free, but now there is too much of it. So the new roblem is:

How do you cut your way through the trash? By searching: making a search, learning how to find keywords.

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Cultural literacy

There is a difference between literacy and reading skills that are job-oriented and therefore limited as to content.

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What about TV?

TV pours out info galore, which can only be useful if used selectively. Otherwise you will surely get swamped. Most people cannot recall almost anything of what they saw on TV even a week ago.

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The Criteria?

If you read or watch something and after a few months you cannot remember it, it was a waste of time and, strictly speaking, a way to shorten your life.

If you read or watch something and after a few months you would like to see it again, you must look for it.

 

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