Friday, January 14, 2005

Free Knowledge

The value of knowledge can’t be assessed by the amount of money paid to obtain it. Knowledge is valuable when it is applied at the right time, right place and for the right cause.

In the pursuit of knowledge we spend a lot of money attending universities and various training programs. In most cases, knowledge is delivered without the right tools to apply that knowledge. The question arises, what is it then that we should seek, knowledge itself or knowledge about the knowledge?

With the advent of the Internet most knowledge is freely available. Take the case of MIT’s OpenCourseWare. It is a publication of course materials from over 900 courses offered at MIT. All this for free! You get access to information that is actually used in MIT classrooms. So, here’s all the knowledge from a reputed institute available at the click of a button.

Does that mean nobody needs to attend classes at MIT anymore and can getaway by reading the online material? NO! Very few individuals have the capability to capture knowledge and at the same time realize its usability. Everyone else needs the guidance of an experienced teacher, who will train you to effectively apply the knowledge. That is why most of need to sit in a classroom.

But, can we strive to be one of the few who can realize the value of knowledge? Yes, if we consistently seek a means to apply the knowledge that we possess and seek the knowledge that we don’t possess. It is that attitude of constantly applying and seeking knowledge that will take us to that state. And then knowledge will be truly free!