Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Truth Is Out There (Information on Demand)

It should come as no surprise that the world we live in now has changed very greatly from the world many grew up in -- in the previous century. Since then, most of the world has been created -- and most of the world that existed prior to that, has disappeared or become irrelevant. Nowhere is that more true than in how we obtain information.

In the previous information age, what we learned and knew about, was what those who fancied themselves in charge, thought we ought to know and learn, which is therefore the emphasis on control above all else. Already in the middle of the last century, many were beginning to rebel against such a notion that some self-designated few, should determine that for everybody else -- because presumably, they knew better.

Then beginning in the '50s, a few began to question such authority -- the most notable being George Orwell, Ayn Rand, Henry Miller, Abraham Maslow, the beatnik generation of the '50s as the precursor to the more popular and heralded '60s, when such rebelliousness became increasingly more acceptable, and recognized as a counterculture, or alternative culture, and ultimately evolving beyond that, to alternate realities -- chosen individually and uniquely to one's own tastes, talents and inclinations.

What made that possible, was having access to all the information that was out there -- and not just the information self-designated priests of information control hierarchies, wanted, or thought we should know -- to establish and embellish their position in the socio-economic (information) chain. One's status in that information hierarchy, determined how much access one had to all the information -- and so the world has changed very greatly for those who have realized they can determine what it is they know -- beyond what others, even well-meaning people, determine is the extent of all that can be known, or what they "should" know.

That is increasingly the cultural divide between those living lives of the fullest possibilities and actualities of the present time -- and those still living in the past (the last century), cut off largely by their (self-imposed) access to all the information available, which is being created faster than one can research it.

So the challenge of this Information Age is increasingly to shift from a mode of learning only what others would like us to know and think correct (mass media and culture), if not the limits of knowledge and the universe -- from all that is actually possible to know now, and even participate in the creation of that knowing (discovery) as the new fulfillment of life in these times.


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