Falling off the shoulders of genius – Part 1

Do you ever feel like you’re position in life is so precarious its as if you were perched up on someone else’s shoulders. Someone who really has no business holding anyone up but themselves to begin with. I have that feeling a lot. Except the position I am describing is intellectual and my supporters, giants! So why the imbalance? I have come to the conclusion that its all in my head, literally. I have a big head concerning things I think I am knowledgeable about. But that knowledge was gained through years, sometimes decades and centuries of thought, experimentation, debate and war by people who are much smarter than I am. Without their expertise I wouldn’t have a shoulder to stand on. I lack all the background and experience that comes with the development of great men and women of genius. I lack all their discernment and discretion too. This is why I am having a hard time coming to grips with the progress of the what I like to call the Google brain. The globalization of data that has been cataloged and stored on the internet since its genesis, available for at least one third of the world’s population to cherry pick and exploit at will. Don’t get me wrong. I adore the internet. It makes me feel smarter. In a way it does make me more knowledgeable. But the ease with which that knowledge is acquired is orders of magnitude less sucky than what people had to go through just a generation ago. If I want to change the brake pads on my car all I have to do is go to YouTube. If I want to build a computer I just Google “how to build a computer”. If I want to know the bawdy details of the reign of Pope Alexander VI and the Borgia clan I can look it up on Wikipedia (or for those still leery of said source’s credibility – at least find references to the information). I can scan a 1000 pages of text using Adobe or Word and find the exact reference I need to make my point and never bother to gain any real understanding of the author’s intent. I can ask a subject matter expert in a Germany to answer a difficult question on the intrinsic factors leading to the current state of affairs in Syria and receive a response within hours, just to answer my own curiosity. The acquiring of knowledge is no longer the laborious process of sifting through years of material education by quick minds capable of retaining prodigious amounts of data and then formulating that data into adroit arguments with the ability to change the world. We have changed so much that change is becoming our normal state of being. Many people in the younger generation find it difficult to concentrate long enough to read an entire book. Why read when Hollywood will make a two hour visual representation of it anyway. That is if the entertainment value proves worth it. Information is gained through of soundbites and video clips not lectures and text. Is there an inherent danger in this course? Which brings me to the crux of the argument – Internet.org…

To be continued.

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About jasoncbritton

I write because I think its the only sincere method of communicating emotion. I love my family. I struggle to be good. It does not come easy. View all posts by jasoncbritton

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