Friday, October 24, 2014

Conscious Stupidity In the Age of Unlimited Access to Information

Sometimes people wonder why I'm so grumpy about crap that ends up on Facebook or the news or whatever. This is why:
Today, YOU personally will read more information than a man in the middles ages would have come across in his lifetime. I am saying "man" for a reason: a woman in the middle ages would have had about 1/10 the access to information of that man.

Read that again: TODAY alone, you will have access to more information than a man from the middle ages had in his ENTIRE LIFE.

You will also have the INSTANT ability to corroborate what you read by doing an internet search, which will give you access to more information than 500 people in the middle ages would have had in their lifetimes.
If that weren't already enough, if you have a smart phone, and 80 percent of us have, you have IN YOUR HANDS, more computing power than was used to launch a spacecraft and land two men on the moon.
With that phone, you can speak to experts, who will also corroborate information for you.
On top of all that, TODAY, as you sit there in your bathrobe at your computer, you have, via Coursera, access to more educational options than people had for 1000s of years - for FREE!
So yeah, it makes me grumpy when people can't spell simple words, when they share ridiculous, unfounded, stupid, false, manufactured information. And yeah, it makes me crazy when people not only share that information, they REFUSE - via not reading, not researching, and by rejecting FACTS - to learn and to update what they know.
It is the highest form of taking for granted the wondrous universe of information we have at our fingertips, to post and repost garbage, and to not corroborate and verify.