Colin Devroe

Photographer. Podcaster. Blogger. Reverse Engineer.

Not anymore Henry

January 12, 2010

Interesting comparison between the knowledge of science and the knowledge of man by the always quotable Henry David Thoreau:

“Science does not embody all that men know, only what is for men of science. The woodman tells me how he caught trout in a box trap, how he made his trough for maple sap of pine logs, and the spouts of sumach or white ash, which have a large pith. He can relate his facts to human life. The knowledge of an unlearned man is living and luxuriant like a forest, but covered with mosses and lichens and for the most part inaccessible and going to waste; the knowledge of the man of science is like timber collected in yards for public works, which still supports a green sprout here and there, but even this is liable to dry rot.”

I also like the bit where he mentions that a lot of man’s knowledge ends up going to waste – presumably because it is lost with the man at death. Henry David Thoreau, though, didn’t live in a world with blogs and Twitter. If more people would spout out knowledge through these channels, instead of negativity, I think Henry’s thoughts could be outdated.