The title of this post comes from something I recently heard on GPS with Fareed Zakaria. The topic was how the Internet puts things out there with no clear distinction between truth and untruth. If you have the wisdom to discern the difference then the info you gain from instant communications is invaluable to you. If you don’t then it is difficult to decide just what to do with opposing information.
The very heart of this topic lies in the question, how does a person gain wisdom? Besides putting truth and untruth on the same level, the Internet also makes it very easy to only expose yourself to one particular view of the world. We can pick and choose which sources of info we read on a daily basis and never be exposed to anything we might not agree with. That is not the way to gain wisdom but instead to have tunnel vision.
As is the case with most things in life, the Internet has a bright side and a dark side. Nothing is ever totally black or white. I do agree that it was simpler in my youth. If I wanted to know something all I had to do was visit a library and look it up in an encyclopedia. I knew that the info in that document was parsed through many filters to make sure it was valid and truthful. But, since this method of intelligence gathering took hours of work instead of seconds most question were simply left unanswered.
There is a lot of info out there for instant retrieval but much of it contains unfiltered lies and untruth. That fact is especially true when selecting which cable news outlet to view. In another area, it doesn’t cost anyone to set up a blog and post whatever you want. Of course, I am an example of that. Except for vulgarity, there are very few filters around what is posted. Then there is Twitter, where anyone can rant about anything, truthful or not. Of course, that is the primary means of which the current Oval Office occupant puts out his distortions and lies.
I am not old enough to have actually heard any of FDR’s “fireside chats” but I understand that they were very inspiring and upbeat to the millions who listened. Now we have, as one of my Facebook friends pointed out “Trump’s toilet seat tweets”. Somehow I just can’t see anything inspiring about any of them. Most are definitely untruths trying to sit beside truths, but anyone with an IQ over 50 knows at least in their heart what they are.