Don’t let your slaves learn to read. Not even the Bible, and the bits about the sons of Ham. Who knows what else they might do with that tool you have put in their hands. The field ones, definitely not. The house ones – a bit, so long as they have enough to lose…
Well, that works fine (for you, not them!) if you’re running a plantation economy, a feudal society.
In a knowledge economy though, you gotta have a trained workforce. Not an educated one, mind you – there’s a subtle difference!
So, I’ve just stumbled on a great term – “agnotology“. There is, of course, a wikipedia entry about it.
Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The neologism was coined by Robert N. Proctor, a Stanford University professor specializing in the history of science and technology. Its name derives from the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις, agnōsis, “not knowing” (confer Attic Greek ἄγνωτος “unknown”), and -λογία, -logia. More generally, the term also highlights the increasingly common condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before….