The accumulation of information followed by knowledge and (hopefully) wisdom.

Abraham Moses Genen (
Sat, 4 Oct 1997 12:34:36 -0400

Abraham Moses Genen
Being dedicated to the future progress of humankind
should be the prime concern of all civilized beings.

Dear fellow Extropians:

Several days ago one of our correspondents (who will, as a courtesy,
remain nameless) took exception to my providing a general reference and a
suggestion as sources of information on a somwhat minor event described in
the Old Testament rather than providing a specific answer.

Although I felt that the complaint by our correspondent was more than
slightly sophomoric, after careful consideration I concluded that it would
be helpful and appropriate to provide my fellow Extropians with the
reasoning and the value judgements behind my providing a general point of
reference rather than the specific facts and an exegetic commentary.

I'd like to think that a good teacher is one who encourages others to do
their own research and thinking. As such, the student -- regardless of
their academic accomplishments -- should be provided with just enough
information as may be necessary to start them on their quest for
information and, ultimately, understanding. Understanding cannot be
taught. Only facts can be taught. By encouraging each student to obtain
the specific facts on their own, initiative and self-actualization is also

By this method the student learns more than the simple facts. They learn
the values inherent in the accumulation of knowledge (epistemology) and
the need for continuous learning and intellectual evolution.