First, Jeremy Hunt – a man not shy of a camera and a headline – has gone and done a Diana. The Health Secretary has got himself a surgical gown, a pair of latex gloves and a freelance photographer; and distributed images of himself working as a shift nurse in an A&E unit. (Presumably not one of the 14 underperforming hospitals earmarked in last week’s review).
Hunt’s angle though is admirable. How is he supposed to tackle thousands of complaints he receives over citizens’ treatment in the hands of the NHS without working on the front line himself? Cristina Odone in the Telegraph makes the point crisply: “The only way to learn is to do.” Correct (to a point).
Yes, we can learn by experience. Another way to learn is to convert information into knowledge.
Astrid Berges-Frisbey (pictured for reference) is the 27 year old French-Spanish actress and star of Juliette. Juliette – according to The Guardian – is the latest in a new wave of European films that depicts the stories of life for young people living against a backdrop of austerity and Eurozone meltdown.
The “grey-eyed and chain-smoking” actress (presumably not Lambert & Butler) looked out of the window wistfully and said, “We have more tools, more choices, and yet we live as if constantly paralysed.” Spot on love, (I’d say if I were her agent or northern).
In short, what she is hinting at is an argument being put forward by many others – including Baroness Greenfield. Her view is that our brains are beginning to function differently. Our click-click, always online, never satisfied information gathering is relentless, without allowing it to pause, permeate and be converted into knowledge (in the way that traditional education via reading and study, does). We sit smoking fags looking out of windows flicking an iPhone pouring thousands of images into our brain, but less and less of it is sinking in.
In short, what Hunt, Berges-Frisbey and Greenfield are showing us is that we’d do well to recognise the difference between information and intelligence. Getting a grip of Twitter and your RSS feeds is all well and good – but what you do with it is what counts.