The Habit of Reason by Brand Blanshard

Brand Blanshard was only 92 years old when he delivered Boston University’s 111th Commencement in 1984. Titled “The Habit of Reason.” I came across this magnificent piece here. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon it and so should you since you are reading this. Appropriately the piece is thoughtful since he urges the students to think.

The piece resonates deeply with my own feelings about the goals of education. He says, “Life is a succession of big and little crises, and one main aim of education is to supply us with the strategies necessary for dealing with them. Furthermore, dealing with them thoughtfully may become a habit. Indeed, my thesis today is that if you have acquired that habit of reasonableness, you will have acquired the best thing that an education can bestow.”

Here are the concluding paragraphs of his address.
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Wide Area Content and Narrow Area Content

The total volume of information available in the world is unbelievably large and is increasing exponentially. Much of this information is becoming available on the world wide web. I refer to this subset as the WAC, or “Wide Area Content.” WAC includes everything from journals on quantum physics to home videos on YouTube, and everything in between. One just has to do a Google search to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the information available at the click of a mouse.
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