Have you ever wondered how you came to know what you know today? From where did all these information end up in the books that you read in school and college. Even the subjects that you have mastered, do you think you know all of it? Think again, because today, most of the things that we are aware of has been filtered or in more precise words, mined.
From religion to science, knowledge as we know is the result of cultural mining. But what is cultural mining?
Cultural Mining describes the process by which the most important parts of culture, by which we understand the arts, humanity, and philosophy are recovered and made useful for our own times.
In cultural mining, the practical sides of culture, are carefully extracted, cleaned, blasted and remolded and then used to manufacture the mental tools that we need to navigate contemporary life.
Its been a historical problem that hugely valued cultural insights have often been lodged in highly unappealing material far below ground. Its been dark and cramped in corridors of culture and hardly anyone except for certain credited experts have been credited to visit.
The material, like metal in ore, is entirely practical in its raw state.
For culture to be useful and meaningful to us, it needs to go through a process of refinement. You have to separate cultural insights from lot of material surrounding it. Like in gold mining, a very little portion of what originally has been dug out will be used to make a finished precious item that our society needs, that is, good ideas.
Its around this process of refinement, the big difference between the school of life and standard universities comes apparent. We ought to be very grateful to these universities for digging the mines and keeping open the tunnels. But we have a different project.
We are interested in the extraction and the utilization of the material on the surface rather than its preservation and interpretation below ground.
The idea of cultural mining is new, still it feels a little weird. But it has a critical role to play in our world. Because at present, lots of people sadly believe that culture has anything significant to offer them. It’s not their fault, of course. When you look at the raw material in the form of which culture is generally laid out for us, no wonder most people don’t bother. That’s a huge pity. We have started doing the mining, deep in the cultural ground to help us meet the multiple confusions and anxieties of our own times.