Sunday, October 07, 2012

"The Path to Freedom"

"If you grow up in a household where there are books, where you are read to, where parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins read for their own pleasure, naturally you learn to read. If no one close to you takes joy in reading, where is the evidence that it's worth the effort? If the quality of education available to you is inadequate, if you're taught rote memorization rather than how to think, if the content of what you're first given to read comes from a nearly alien culture, literacy can be a rocky road...

If you're preoccupied by the absence of basic family support or dropped into a roiling sea of anger, neglect, exploitation, danger and self-hatred, you might well conclude that reading takes too much work and just isn't worth the trouble. If you're repeatedly given the message that you're too stupid to learn (or the functional equivalent, too cool to learn), and if there's no one there to contradict it, you might very well buy this pernicious advice. There are always some children - like Frederick Bailey - who beat the odds. Too many don't." Sagan, Carl. The Demon-Haunted World: Science As a Candle in the Dark. New York: Random House, 1996. Print.

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