On the interview
with MUNPlanet, Professor Stephen Walt of Harvard University (read here: On International Relations, Theory, and Practice: A Special Interview With Professor Stephen Walt / MunPlanet) points out lots of interesting topics, from the state of theory and policy in
international relations to the role of books.
We could take a conclusion from the interview that reading books, having a sophisticated knowledge of theory and how to use it, having a courageous mind, and having a support network of friends could make the world a better place, it's all back to basics. These all may seem nonsense, but if you re-think those matters, you'll find that those are all essentials because we've forgotten the basics to make the world a better place. We just care about how to solve world's problems by seeing the surface, we're too lazy to do some research on how a problem was made, we're too lazy to read thoroughly. Watching news and reading newspapers to know and understand world's problems are not bad at all. However, those are not enough. Go to public library and read the essential books! I'm very sure you won't get only the informations you want to search, because by reading books and understand it thoroughly, it will broaden your knowledge and increase your curiousity.
I'm completely agree with Professor Walt when he expresses his thought on online publishing,
"Blogging and other forms of online publishing are important because they bring a wider range of voices into the mix; But I don’t think this will replace the role of books: it is important that people still offer sustained, detailed, and well-documented research and books are still ideal for that."
Yes, I know that online publishing, newspaper, and television offers an up-to-date informations and there are lots. Well, those various up-to-date informations are already simplified and make you lazy to swim, to understand thouroughly. And here we come back again to the importance of books. Said Professor Walt, it's sustained, detailed, and well-documented research. How come someone want to solve world's problems if he don't understand the cause and the problem thouroughly?
However, reading books and having a sophisticated knowledge is way less than enough. As I said before, someone's got to have a courageous mind, and having a support network of friends could make the world a better place. But, if someone doesn't start with reading books, how could he, at least, understand what he faces? Then again, back to basics.
p.s: Reading books is not only essential on making the world a better place, it's essential on every aspects on our life. Yes, I know you know that. Well, have you read and finished a book this week?