Guess: when and who!
Guess when was this said and who said it!
The service environments available to ordinary persons, whether of travel or general consumer services, far exceed the power of any private wealth to provide for itself. The richest men have become hotel hermits, unable to find any more conspicuous means of consumption than those that are adapted to their personal or commer- cial security. If personal wealth has become a comic and frustrating encumbrance in a world of universal public services, the school and university are in an equally paradoxical situation insofar as they are committed to providing packaged information on a wide variety of subjects. Today the general public has access to every kind of infor- mation--quite independently of our educational programs. This new electric access to information has suddenly cast the audience in the role, not of spectator or consumer, but of ex- plorer and investigator. The immediate need and future of education is not in the dissemination of knowledge, but of ignorance. The open university of the U. K. made the ordinary mistake of putting the old curriculum and old classroom on the new TV media. The immediate need is for these media to bring to the microphone and the studio people from every field of knowledge and endeavour to explain to the public not their knowledge but their ignorance, not their expertise but their hang-ups, not their breakthroughs but their break-downs. The universi- ty and school of the future must be a means of total community partici- pation, not in the consumption of available knowledge, but in the crea- tion of completely unavailable insights. The overwhelming obstacle to such community participation in problem solving and research at the top levels, is the reluctance to admit, and to describe, in detail their difficulties and their ignorance. There is no kind of problem that baf- fles one or a dozen experts that cannot be solved at once by a million minds that are given a chance simultaneously to tackle a problem. The satisfaction of individual prestige which we formerly derived from the possession of expertise, must now yield to the much greater chores and satisfactions of dialogue and group discovery.
Yes, it was 1971 and the speaker was Marshall McLuhan. Convocation Speech, University of Alberta. See the full text here.
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