In diplomacy and foreign affairs, as in many fields, while it is desirable to know things, it is essential to understand things. In today's world, it is actually becoming less important to know things. What is valued now, in fact, is the ability to find things out. No one is expected to know a great many facts if one has the ability to produce the information at a moment's notice. The Internet makes this possible. But modern technology does not improve one's ability to see human commonalities behind human diversity, or to understand the shared hopes and fears behind the Babel of tongues. That is what the world needs more than ever and that is what the Humanities make possible.
Department of State