Opinion

Infinite information lies within easy reach

Everything you believe at this moment is the result of what you heave heard, read and seen. Your ideas about religion, your ideas about sex, your ideas about what you should accomplish by the time you are thirty.

In other words, everything you believe is the result of what you have experienced. “Heard” and “seen” are verbs that call attention to the senses, so I suppose I should also include “smelled,” “touched” and “tasted” as the other helpers that inform your everyday decisions, from debating whether or not to go to grad school to stepping into a voting booth and closing the curtains behind you.

Five senses aside, the previously mentioned word “read” stands alone.

On our own, we see what is ahead of us, as far as we can gaze without our vision halting at an obstacle. We smell what enters the room. We feel what we press our fingers against, and we taste what we take to our tongues. When someone speaks to us, we hear – if we are listening to what they say, rather than the sounds.

Because reading another’s perspective allows us to inhabit a different body in a different place with a different reserve of experiences, and go for a walk with them, we are guided through the author’s thought processes – two of us, the reader and the writer, able to sit in one mind. An impossibility in physical life, but a truth brought to us by the writer’s willingness to share words, which are thoughts caught in a net and carefully arranged on paper in squiggly black lines.

A good book, article or essay teaches us to think in a new way, or internalize something we have never been exposed to before. Imagine if you were to meet with five experts a day: one having just flown in from taking notes in the Middle East, another a famous essayist back from the dead for the evening, and the last three from all different walks of life, fluent in ideas that either never occurred to you, or you never had time to pursue.

Well, while the dinner party is just a concrete example of what you can enjoy abstractly, my point is that their knowledge is available to you. Do you take advantage of it?

The greatest thing about this moment in time is that we have access to so much information. Libraries are free to everyone in America. And inside each library are multiple digital libraries, much smaller at first glance than the high-ceilinged, shelf-lined rooms, but infinite in reading material due to the network that surges within them. Someone who is strapped for cash can learn just as much as someone who is earning a six-figure salary. So there is no excuse.

For those of us who have smartphones, we hold the world in the palm of a hand. So if you could learn about anything, why wouldn’t you?

Hunter Wright is a junior majoring in creative writing.

September 8, 2014

Reporters

Hunter Wright


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It’s the play Miami Hurricanes fans will never forget — and Florida State fans are trying to forget. ...

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

An ACLU report authored by UM sociologists documents racial and ethnic disparities in Miami-Dade Cou ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.