Information is everywhere and everywhere we are ignorant

“Are we staring a giant paradox in the face? Visionaries tell us that we now live in an information age, indeed an age of info-glut. Yet the students living in the world’s most powerful and lethal country do not have much of a clue about the world out there.

The US invaded Iraq (and other Middle East places too). Not many Americans know where Iraq is, let alone that their government used to support Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. And they have little idea about what their government is actually up to on the geo-political scene as it desperately seeks to remain the hegemonic, exceptional nation, in a multi-polar world.

Celebrating uncritically the information age tells us very little about whether we as citizens and ordinary people are, in fact, becoming more knowledgeable and skilled in the managing of our personal and collective affairs. In his prescient essay, “Science as vocation,” Max Weber wrote of the “process of intellectualization” that had been grinding onward for thousands of years.

In his view, the “increasing intellectualization” did not “indicate an increased and general knowledge of the conditions under which we live our lives. It means something else, namely the knowledge or belief that, if one but wished, one could learn at any time. Hence, it means that principally there are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play, but rather that one can, in principle, master all things by calculation.” The Stone Age savage knew more, tacitly and explicitly, about the ground of their being than we do in our deracinated world.”

Comment:
These are further extracts from Michael Welton’s article, titled as above. Is it not a sad commentary about those who know not what they are doing or what is happening – ‘the ground of their being’?

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