But now there is a knowledge explosion. Things are changing so fast that the whole education system has become outdated, outmoded. It has to be dropped, and a totally new education system has to come into existence. Only now is it possible – up to now it was not possible.
You will have to understand what I mean by ‘the knowledge explosion’. Imagine a clock face with sixty minutes on it. These sixty minutes represent three thousand years of human history; or each minute, fifty years; or each second, approximately one year. On this scale there were no significant media changes until about nine minutes ago. At that time the printing press came in. About three minutes ago, the telegraph, photograph, and the locomotive. Two minutes ago, the telephone, rotary press, motion pictures, automobile, airplane and radio. One minute ago, the talking picture. Television has appeared in the last ten seconds, the computer in the last five, and the communication satellites in the last second. The laser beam appeared only a fraction of a second ago.
This is what some people call ‘the knowledge explosion’. Change is not new; what is new is the degree of change. And that makes all the difference, because at a certain point quantitative changes become qualitative changes.
If you heat water, up to ninety-nine point nine degrees it is still water – maybe hot, but still water. Just point one degree more is needed and the water starts evaporating, and there happens a qualitative change. Just a few seconds before, the water was visible, now it is invisible. Just a few seconds before, the water was flowing downwards, now it is rising upwards. It has transcended the pull of gravitation, it is no more under the law of gravitation.
Remember, at a certain point the quantitative change becomes qualitative. And that’s what has happened. Change is not new, it is not news; change has always been happening. But the rate of change is immensely new; it has not happened like this before.
The difference between a fatal and a therapeutic dose of strychnine is only a matter of degree – that’s what Norbert Wiener says. The poison can function as a medicine in a smaller dose, but the same medicine will become fatal if you give a bigger dose. At a certain point it is no more medicine, it is poison.
Change is so tremendous now that the teacher cannot serve any more in the past style, education cannot serve any more in the past way. The past way was to help people to memorize. Education up to now has not been education in intelligence but only in memory, in remembrance. The past generation transferred all its knowledge to the new generation, and the new generation was to remember it. So people who had good memories were thought to be intelligent.
That is not necessarily so. There have been geniuses whose memory was almost nil. Albert Einstein didn’t have a good memory. There have been people whose memory was miraculous, but they had no intelligence at all.
Memory is a mechanical thing in your mind. Intelligence is the consciousness. Intelligence is part of your spirit, memory is part of your brain. Memory belongs to the body, intelligence belongs to you.