Sunday, January 16, 2011

Does more information mean we know less?

Brilliant article, an unusual perspective, contrasts I did not expect at all.
If you want to listen to it rather than read, here it is, just 10 mins: ('The Point of View' on BBC iPlayer is a great way to listen to articles - some rest for sore eyes)
A Point of View: Does more information mean we know less?
We pay a price for all the information we consume these days - and it's knowing less, says Alain de Botton.
"...For example, we are enticed to go to the cinema to see a newly released film, which ends up moving us to an exquisite pitch of sensitivity, sorrow and excitement. We leave the theatre vowing to reconsider our entire lives in light of the values shown on screen, and to purge ourselves of our decadence and haste.
And yet by the following evening, after a day of meetings and aggravations, our cinematic experience is well on its way towards obliteration. Just like so much else which once impressed us, but which we soon enough came to discard - the majesty of the ruins of Ephesus, the view from Mount Sinai, that poetry recital in Edinburgh, the feelings we had after putting down Tolstoy's Death of Ivan Ilyich."
"...The need to diet, well accepted in relation to food, should be brought to bear on our relation to knowledge, people, and ideas. Our minds, no less than our bodies, require periods of fasting."

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