Monday, April 30, 2012

keep it simple, stupid...

I've been wondering about so many different things lately. I feel like the more schooling I get and the more knowledge I'm (supposedly) gaining, the less I know about the world. It seems to me that my perspective should be widening, but in fact I feel as though my thinking is growing more limited. I'm less receptive to knew things. I push against the complex and the abstract. Having no right answers makes me uncomfortable and anxious about the subjects I study. I should have expected that. I mean, duh. I'm a Humanities major. There are no right answers -- but there are at the same time. If you happen to figure that one out, please share your insights, because I'm really struggling with it.

I mean, how do you define something that is undefinable? The things we discuss in class...these ideologies seek to be formulated and defined, yet they also want to be limitless and free to change. Defining what these things are, like literature and politics and even history, is becoming a grueling, mind boggling task. And, if you can't define something, does it even exist?

All of these questions are controversial because, like everything else, they have no right or wrong answer. I guess I just feel tired and confused and frustrated by how much I don't know, and by how complicated things are made to be. To me, truth shouldn't be complicated. A truthful claim isn't enhanced by complications -- sometimes I feel as though I'm mentally wading through hot tar that is cooling so rapidly that it leaves my mind feeling scorched and stuck in the text or discussion wondering why does anyone care? and is this even important? I don't know what to do with any of it! Learning is no longer freeing, but a chore that must be done, like washing dishes. I hate washing dishes, but if I don't, there are consequences. The gravity of the consequences for dirty dishes have less of an impact on my future than those of not finishing college, I know that. However, both of those things are hard for me to do.

The necessity of education in the world today weighs on my mind too, but the heaviest element is the sheer difficulty and complexity of learning...complexity doesn't help me learn, and it certainly doesn't help me decide how I should use the information I'm trying to understand. If things were simplified, it'd be helpful. I'm not saying water things down or disregard ideas and concepts that pose a challenge for students, but the volume of material that isn't easily comprehensible could be limited a little. Or maybe I'm stupid and don't get stuff like others do.

Simplicity is a beautiful thing. I wonder if simplicity in academics and study is overlooked or under appreciated because simple is just that: simple. I wonder if education and the acquisition of knowledge are seen by society, scholars, teachers, students, whoever it may be, as needing to be complicated and difficult because otherwise the learning didn't mean anything -- it wasn't "worth it" in some way, because it wasn't hard enough.

There are so many questions that I have. There are so few answers that I can find. Either I don't have time to seek out answers (after all, I do have 55 more pages of reading to do tonight -- 64 for tomorrow -- and I've already read 79 tonight) or I can't find ones that are satisfactory because -- wait for it -- there are no definite answers. I should probably just accept that. There is safety in conformity, after all. Conformity is simple. But...I don't know if I want to argue for that much simplicity...


Q said...

There aren't RIGHT answers, but there are WRONG answers, and some answers are more right than others.

It's subjective.

Truth shouldn't be complex, and the deepest truths aren't, yet truth has a special way of resisting simplicity as soon as you put humans in the mix.

Georgie K. Buttons said...

"Truth shouldn't be complex, and the deepest truths aren't, yet truth has a special way of resisting simplicity as soon as you put humans in the mix."

I like that a lot.