“Informing Ourselves to Death”

The problem with our society is not lack of information (as we saw in the last post), it is lack of moral fiber. We have way more information than we can integrate…so we trust bucket loads of information with no way to assimilate it into our worldview. Why? We have no anchor that holds within the veil of naivete.

Some more juicy quotes from Neil Postman, German Informatics Society, 11 Oct 90, Stuttgart

“[George Orwell] remarked that the average person today is about as naive as was the average person in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages people believed in the authority of their religion, no matter what. Today, we
believe in the authority of our science, no matter what…

The world in which we live is very nearly incomprehensible to most of us. There is almost no fact – whether actual or imagined – that will surprise us for very long, since we have no comprehensive and consistent picture of the world
which would make the fact appear as an unacceptable contradiction. We
believe because there is no reason not to believe. No social, political, historical, metaphysical, logical or spiritual reason…

The point is that, in a world without spiritual or intellectual order, nothing is unbelievable; nothing is predictable, and therefore, nothing comes as a particular surprise…

There is no consistent, integrated conception of the world which serves as the foundation on which our edifice of belief rests. And therefore, in a sense, we are more naive than those of the Middle Ages, and more frightened, for we
can be made to believe almost anything…”

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