Sunday, May 06, 2007
I'm beginning to think that maybe ignorance really is bliss. I've come to this conclusion because I think we may have reached the point where we have access to too much information in the world.
Whoever really invented the Internet is to blame. They are followed closely by Google. Wikipedia isn't helping either. What used to take weeks (if not years) of research can now be queried in the blink of an eye. The problem is that although a simple Internet search can turn of an unbelievably amount of information, there is no way to know how much, if any of it, is true.
Wikipedia is a great concept. It is this collective sharing of knowledge. The catch is that it is difficult to screen out bogus experts. And for every expert Web site on any given topic there are a hundred created by crackpots wanting to spout "truths" the voices told them to share with the masses.
I also think I have proved many times that you can't trust photos you find on the Web, either.
The other problem is that when you used to have a really cool, original idea, you could bask in self-delusion that it was an original idea for ages. Now all you have to do is google your good idea and discover instantaneously that thousands of other people already had your good idea years ago.
This is especially problematic for writers, poets and artists. Now in addition to writer's block, when we do have a breakthru we have to have the fact that we aren't as witty and original as we always thought we were waved under our noses electronically at the drop of a hat.
This is also problematic for would be entrepeneurs. Google your idea for a great product and you are likely to find it is already being sold. If not, you can bet a hundred other people will steal the idea the minute you slap it up on the Web.
I suppose in retrospect that there has always been misinformation in the world. It was just easier to contain when it was produced by a mimeograph machine.