The Internet replaced these encyclopedias. Everything was now a search button away. Yet with all the convenience and limitless information, I'm not anymore intellectually stimulated. On the contrary, precious time has just been wiled away with all the Facebooking, Tweeting, and catching up on TV series. Not to say I don't learn other things, but it could have gone at a much more faster pace.
Pretentious as it may be, I felt that I used to have a larger advantage over my peers in our younger days, that I was already at a higher level in some academic aspects. I read up any thing that interested me so some historical or scientific facts we would learn later were mere general knowledge trivia to me, giving me chances to flaunt once in a while. Unfortunately, I never did expand this bank of knowledge. Soon enough, it was either the syllabus we were learning finally caught up or I started meeting people of equal or higher calibre.
Our education system probably contributed to this deterioration, being so restrictive. Who knows how much untapped potential was never discovered, and will never be know as our brains age. But then, it's not only exclusive to Malaysia, we did model ourselves after the Brits.
Coincidentally, I just finished "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" today (or it was this book that prompted the post). Afterthoughts: what would I be like now, if I was handled more strictly in my youth? I know, I have my regrets, not continuing the piano or the violin, and maybe not swimming a bit more harder during classes. But then, would I have read as much or explored all the other enlightening aspects. Might I be like Amy Chua's daughter, attending college at Harvard or maybe in Oxbridge now if I was drilled harder?
Who knows? And there's still time to learn. I might take longer than I would have in my younger days but there's still the opportunity, with the gap year and all. I can revert back to my free learning methods of the past, absorbing information from any source at my own pace. Schooling has disrupted most of my education, fortunately, not to the point of no return.