I will tell you what has been the practical error of the last twenty years - not to load the memory of the student with a mass of undigested knowledge but to force on him so much that he has rejected all.
It has been the error of distracting and enfeebling the mind by an unmeaning profusion of subjects; of implying that a smattering in a dozen branches of study is not shallowness which it really is, but enlargement which it is not; of considering an acquaintance with the learned names of things and persons, and the possession of clever duodecimos and attendance on eloquent lecturers all... membership with scientific institutions, and the sight of the experiments on a platform, and the specimens of a museum, that all this was not dissipation of mind, but progress.
All things now are to be learned at once, not first one thing, then another, not one well, but many badly.
Learning is to be without exertion, without attention without toil; without grounding,' without advance, without finishing. There is to be nothing individual in it and this, forsooth, is the wonder of the age.
What the steam-engine does with matter, the printing press is to do with mind; it is to act mechanically, and the population is to be passively, almost unconsciously, enlightened by the mere multipliction and dissemination of volumes.
- Malaya Catholic Newsletter, July 2, 1950 (1950.pdf pp10)