Thursday, February 14, 2013

There is no excuse

I realise that there is nothing as pure information, pure fact uninterpreted. You only have to look at Fox News and the twisting of the climate change debate to know that the media can be subject to very heavy bias. I suspect if I read Green Left Weekly with any regularity I'd see the same. So information needs evaluation - both of the source's worldview and our own to understand how we regulate what comes in.

Despite all of the hype, the internet is the same - information doesn't appear ex nihilio simply to be curated, bookmarked or taken blindly. We need even better information evaluation skills than ever before.

However, there is now no excuse for ignorance, for sitting back and remaining uninformed, for not being challenged, stimulated, stretched intellectually. With sites like Fora, YouTube, Open Culture, Ted, iTunes U, free MOOCs and so on, there's oodles of stuff to give the brain a workout. There is also plenty of cheap stuff too (Regent Audio is a fave of mine for Christian lectures, and often has half priced sales). Then of course there is online book shopping - for which I am complicit in driving local bookshops out of business (for a bad situation with books in this country). Abebooks is one of my faves because I love second hand (and a number come from Australia) and of course Book Depository, though I buy locally new books too at times.

So in an 'information age' make the most of the great fire hose that is the internet, but do so in a way that promotes a 'wisdom age', an 'understanding age'. Read, listen and watch broadly and deeply, fast and slow as befits what you are doing. There's no excuse!

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