Category Archives: knowledge

Too much information?

Is there such a thing as too much information? If knowledge is power, then surely more information is a good thing. At this juncture, I look ominously at The Media and subject them to a patented, copyright Glare of Righteous Justice©™.

The Media. The Number One Threat to Global Security. The legal Class A drug. The True Masters of The Universe.

The Media understand all too well that knowledge is power. They make their money by pedalling as much information as possible. But therein lies the rub. Like scientists facing a funding review, the media is constantly on the search for new information. And, like scientists, if they can’t find any, what do they do?

Of course they do. If your currency is information, there’s always the temptation to resort to counterfeiting if you’re a little short. And this is how the rot starts. Slow news days are no longer. The world the media have created is a self-sustaining news generation machine.

In this world, then, how can anyone make an informed, personal decision, when their views are distorted from all sides by conflicting “truths” and their decisions are handed to them in a sealed envelope stamped “Property of HMG“.

Many people accept the information presented to them at face value, feeding the beast in so doing. I also, in moments where my cynicism collapses from the strain, gravitate towards news sources that tell me what I want to hear, and then believe whatever lies they choose to propagate. It requires conscious effort to step back and think “Is that actually true?”.

It’s an addiction. Once you’ve tasted mass-media output, you crave more, you become a mirror of the system, a self-sustaining information-consuming machine, addicted to knowledge, any knowledge, no matter how close to the “truth” it may be. Your personal truths are gradually eroded until you can no longer tell the difference. Your gear of choice is now carefully processed, filtered, Grade A information.

Unlike substance abuse, there is no Priory for information junkies, nor are there lengthy jail terms for those who deal and supply. Unfortunately, we are all as guilty as we are cursed.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this post, and all previous posts, are entirely those of the author and should be rejected. Nothing written here is true. Reject my reality and replace it with your own.

Why do we Celebrate Stupidity?

We all have our moments where we shake our heads at ourselves. But you wouldn’t want to put me on TV, and I certainly wouldn’t want to go.

But what is it about blatant ignorance that we find so appealing? Why do we pay money so that we can watch people displaying their ignorance of everything? Is it so we can point and laugh? Is it so that we can feel better about ourselves; so we can go “Well, at least I’m not as thick as Jade Goody1“.

When we export this drivel, do they get the joke, or do they just take it as symptomatic of the nation? Judging by the reaction to moronic sledging of Shilpa Shetty in CBB4, they think we’re all mindless, bigoted cretins. And who can blame them? We’re making them pay to watch programmes where we endorse their opinions.

Is the prevalence of the ignorant celebrity the result of failing education? The ignorance displayed by a lot of celebs, younger, more naiive ones primarily, can only be down to poor education, at school and/or at home. It is strange that it has taken Celebrity Big Brother to show up this racist undertone, where normal Big Brother has never had this issue. It would be a pleasing and convenient truth if celebrities were more ignorant as a rule.

Behind every celebrity is an agent who takes a percentage. I’m sure the main reason we have to put up with these dolts are agents saying “Go on, do Celebrity Big Wife Swap Dance Idol, it’ll do wonders for your career!”. Being bears of little brain who find big words scary, they display their ignorance in private one last time and agree, before having it broadcast to the world in a prime-time display of conspicuous stupidty.

Beyond the car-crash element, I’ve never really seen the point of Big Brother. But one could argue that it holds a mirror to society, allowing us to see ourselves as others see us. I bet that is what the producers keep telling themselves; you know, in between counting the cash from the millions of drivelling fools (of which I am occasionally one) who pay to press their noses against the glass of the Endemol Stationary Freak Show.

I’m with the old, dead guys when it comes to knowledge, or its lack. “The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance” – Socrates; “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” –Albert Einstein.

Even for those of us for whom knowledge is something to be persued, rather than evaded, it is an effort to avoid ignorance. As the breadth of human knowledge expands, individual grasp of that knowledge cannot keep up, or it lags behind at some percentage of the whole. Older, less applicable knowledge is “aged” out, while it is replaced by newer knowledge. Logically, the breadth of knowledge at an individual level is reasonably constant, generation on generation, but the breadth of all knowledge continues to rise.

So, sadly, we’re probably all more ignorant than our parents. But please, in the name of all those who crave wisdom over celebrity, don’t go on telly and prove me right.

1Poster Child for Stupid. On the Wikipedia Page for Ignorant Cretinous Moron, she ranks above Dubya . I would make her the Queen of stupid people, only she would think it was a good thing. And she would bestow her wisdom upon them and, lo,they would lap that shit right up and ask for more. Hell, that’s where we are right now…