The Perils of the Information Age

The Perils of the Information Age

That Electronic Arts pretties up the lawsuits brought against it or that Dow Chemical wouldn't want you to know about what happened in Bhopal is both obvious and a great example of why you should be skeptical of anything derived from a source anyone can edit.

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That Electronic Arts pretties up the lawsuits brought against it or that Dow Chemical wouldn't want you to know about what happened in Bhopal is both obvious and a great example of why you should be skeptical of anything derived from a source anyone can edit.

Which is what sources are for. Click the little numbers, everyone!

Misinformation is a by-product of information. This has always been the case. There's lots more information to go around, but it's much easier for hearsay and outright lies to travel farther. In the end, the only people with a clear idea of what's going on are the people with information literacy, who are capable of separating trustworthy from untrustworthy statements. Nothing has really changed.

It's makes sense to be worried about the 'death of authority' as applied to internet. For me though it balances, from here at my computer I have access to an amount of information that can't be compared to any one library. And while information may have been overall more reliable pre-1992 there is still a lot of accurate information available just that now people just have to be more careful about the validity of information in general.

I wonder in the long run if the Information Age will be immediately followed by the Age of Skepticism. I actually hope it is.

As long as the information age isn't followed by an age of gullibility I think the world will be alright.

Sean, you can still get good information and you can usually get it in the same way that you used to in the 80s. Just because you can also get information on the internet doesn't mean that the other sources have disappeared. The advantage of the internet is it provides alternate sources, usually low fidelity, that can call out and hold the larger publications to account.

Maybe what you're talking about is laziness. If people surf blogs as a primary source of information and uncritically accept the first link on Google, then they only have their own gullibility to blame.

We are coming to accept the fact that information is plentiful/more than we can process/available yet we are still uncomfortable with accepting that we as creators/editors/spinners/readers of information are inclined to be biased and non-critical...

 

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