I doubt anyone would argue with me on the idea that we are in the Information Age. We’ve sped past the Industrial Age, outsourced most of our manufacturing, given up our agricultural roots (pun intended) to the corporate farms – and thanks largely to the Internet and Algore(not), have essentially made our mainstay diet, data and information. How utterly enlightened of us. We certainly can and do pat ourselves on the backs for having acheived this milestone in civilized society – yet…. Why in the hell are we so stupid?
I don’t necessarily mean you my friends, I mean we as a collective, as society. Despite the fact, that we have a never-ending source of information, data, news, and connections to same we seem to be stupider than we have ever been. We seem to have less common sense (just read any random 10 lawsuits), less sense of community (read any random 10 pieces of legislature passed, locally or federally), are less likely to lend a hand or think of anything other than our own needs (road rage, current role models, the never-ending stream of victim laws, etc. ad nauseum).
Yet, we are also more educated than we’ve ever been. They are starting kids in pre-pre-school, in order to socialize children, in order to increase their intelligence and ultimately to increase their ability to succeed in higher education and the job market. Yet, more high school seniors are unable to read and write than ever before. When I was in high school, I never even heard of a high school senior who couldn’t read and write – now, it seems to be some sort of social problem for which we need programs, sub-languages (ebonics anyone?), translators, secondary and tertiary language versions of materials and texts and still it doesn’t seem to improve. We blame the teachers for the problem, yet never throw the spotlight on the system in which they are forced to operate. Smart, huh?
Every wonderful and deplorable thing that man has had and does have to offer or has created is at our fingertips – yet, we are never satistifed and continue to feed our incessant craving for stuff but not knowledge. Also, generally speaking, we are unhappier (just look at all the new mental and emotional disorders we have ‘discovered’ in the last 3 decades) and less satisifed with ourselves and our lives. We have so much more than our parents ever had, so much more, so many more choices, opportunities and avenues to take and explore. But rather than being deleriously happy and embracing all of these wonderous things we look to the government to protect us and coddle us from the big bad world. We sacrifice the rearing of our children in exchange for laws that will prevent our neighbors from annoying us or doing things we think they shouldn’t oughta do.
We don’t need to have opinions of our own because we have talking heads, politicians and ‘community leaders’ who will talk for us and let us use their opinions. We have sacrificed our own personal critical thinking skills to them so that they will protect us from our environments, neighbors, nature, and things that go bump in the night, and even ourselves so that we won’t have to be responsible for what we bring into our lives or the lives of others. All so we can live in our bubbles and not be bothered.
We have been lulled into the belief that information is knowledge – that what we see, hear and read is true, by virtue of the fact that we see, hear and read it. Never realizing that it’s just bullshit hitting us faster than it did before at the speed of the latest and greatest Intel processer chip.
We believe indoctrination is education, political correctness is caring, global warming is inevitable, second hand smoke will get us when we aren’t looking, interlopers have rights in our country, terrorists can be reasoned with, children have no right to innocence, certain groups deserve special consideration, drugs can bring us happiness, weight loss and spiritual enlightenment and any entity that provides jobs and commerce are evil. We’ve been sold a bill of goods, my friends. And make no mistake, information is not knowledge. Being able to spew facts at will is not talking truth. And all this information has not enlightened us one whit.
This glut of information is killing us. Killing our souls, our minds and our ability to think. Unless we use the information it will use us – as it is right now. If we never stop to question anything, never stop and say ‘wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense’, never stop to disagree with the information du jour if for no other reason than we can, then what kind of world will we be leaving for the next generation coming up? I think we will leave a world of sheep, a world where books will be banned because they offend, where personal freedoms will be determined by the state and those in power, where our children will no longer need identification, money, property or bank accounts, just a bar code tatooed on their skull and number in one of the giant computers that holds all the information. Think about it.
What do you think?