Reply To: Tue 17 Nov: Nature, Narrative and Environmental History

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Sanna Karlsson # Posted on December 1, 2015 at 23:38

In our discussion we foremost discussed the interview with William Cronon. We talked about boreness and that Cronon suggested that we learn why we are bored and try to change it. In some ways we agreed on this. There are two sides to it. First of all, curiosity is important in what you do, and there will be boring things along the way anyways which need to be overcome. Yet, if one is thoroughly bored (which I believe is hard to find), things will not get done, neither if one is thoroughly curious, since there will be no peace to settle down on one thing. So there needs to be a mixture.

I brought up one aspect of boredom which somewhat contradicts Cronon, and that is that boredom can be considered a skill. I do not mean always, toward most things, but truly it is a valuable skill nonetheless. It is through boredom that I am taught not to do certain things, while I gain more energy to pursue the passions of my heart. This is one important aspect, it is not good for us to be too divided, but instead single-minded on the work we have before us. However, as we discussed, there will always be obstacles of boredom on the way of getting to our goals and this is where boredom is to be overcome as mentioned earlier. But over all, I believe in today´s society when we are expected to be updated all the time, to follow along in everything, to get bored with things like Facebook can be beneficial for thus can we use our time on more important things. To shut things out can be a skill that we do not want to live without.

We also discussed knowledge and how it can make us boastful. One suggested that if we keep our curiosity we will be humble enough and not try to disprove others with our knowledge. I´m not sure if I fully agree. For one can be curious and yet have selfish motives that make them proud and wanting to disprove other with their knowledge. What is in the heart, that is the issue. What focus we have and what we use our curiosity for. The old saying, ”knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”, I believe is relevant here. Knowlegde isolated can always lead to boastfulness, while having the focus of loving ourselves and others will always keep the knowledge where it should be, keeping love as our main focus. For I believe only love can break down pride, and not merely curiosity.
Another thing I found interesting in todays discussion is how we tend to value academic knowledge above other knowledge which we get from everyday life. However, sometimes our everyday life affects us more than what we can learn from the academic world. I consider both as important. Some information might not have been gained and understood was it not for the academic world, or vice versa, outside the academic world. One example was how if I speak to a person and get that person´s experience on something, I should consider that as knowledge just as valid as any academic knowledge. This is good to understand. However, I might say it probably will be easier for the social scientist or human scientist, since they work with interviewing people. This is therefore a larger step to take for the natural scientist who do not work with people in that same way. Nontheless I think it is very important to consider, since that in itself can make one more boastful, if not thinking others knowledge is as important as my own.