Virtuous cycle

Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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More information, less wisdom

Is there anything wrong with having all the answers at your fingerprints? You don’t know, you type, and Google tells you, or you go straight to Wikipedia.

I use Google News on a daily basis to lookup my favorite topics. Hundeds of news sources there, but they say the same thing most of the time. For fresh view, I wait for articles by Carr or Andrew Orlowski, who, by the way, wrote the piece in Guardian which inspired this post: A thirst for knowledge.

Britannica’s president Jorge Cauz identifies a homogeneity online he finds unsettling. “Internet discourse has the ability to negate the diversity of voices, and no one can differentiate between truth and myth,” he says.

How to avoid being another mirror in the hall of mirrors? With such amount of information sources at hand, it’s difficult to go back and do thinking on your own:

“It’s a false supposition we can endlessly delay having to interpret and judge things by stacking more and more bits of data in front of us,” he says. “That data is a comfort blanket in a way – we all do this. People are becoming addicted to getting more information all the time.

Accumulating information is now easier, and thinking is difficult. You would expect that critical insight will rise in price, since it became so scarce now. On the other hand, when the free is (seems?) good enough most of the time, few will pay premium for a quality content.