Via Anna at LP I found out about Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition,Â explaining on WA radioÂ that, in Anna’s summation of his comment, “actually, Googling was no better or worse than looking up books in a library; and in the same way, the trick is to teach students to use the internet effectively and to ensure everyone has access to this important learning tool.” For once Beazley delineated a position that was not petite-Howard, so I fired off an email to him:
Dear Mr Beazley,
Sincere congratulations on the comment you made on the WA ABC Morning radio program regarding the relation between knowledge, the internet and libraries in the context of the so-called History Wars. It is the first time I have felt you have addressed an issue in such a way that would make me proud to have you as PM.
Howard’s focus in these History Wars on brute facts relies on some archaic conception of knowledge in an attempt to resuscitate residual forms of knowledge transmission. Yet, in the future we cannot possibly expect kids or even skilled workers not to use the internet as a knowledge resource. The internet is one of the greatest achievements of humanity and it should be used.
You have clearly delineated a position that is not only right, but, more importantly, it is one that Australia’s PM needs to have to lead us into the future.Â