Most people are walking around with the accumulated knowledge of all of human history in their hand.
It’s there, on your phone. Pull it out and get on the Internet. Google something, anything – How old is the Earth? Answer: 4.543 billion years. How did Socrates die? Poisoning. How long have humans been on the planet? Our ancestors for about 6 million years. Modern humans evolved about 200,000 years ago. What is the national debt? More than $21 trillion.
It is all there, on the Internet. How to make a perfect chocolate cream pie. Who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks? How many movies featured John Wayne? (Turns out he had 178 credited roles).
The Internet has basically ended the bar argument. The Internet can make even the dumbest of us appear to be smart. The Internet is a gold mine of reality and truth.
But, as we are human beings, we have found a way to take this fountain of reality and screw it all up. Yes, you can find the truth and reality about pretty much anything on the Internet. You can watch video of millions of events and breaking news moments.
But too many people have latched onto the Internet as a place to spread false information. If you are looking for what is real and what is the truth, you can find it online. If you are looking for something that simply justifies your worldview, even if it is false, you can find it there too.
You can find it on web pages and in chat rooms. You can find wild opinions of every sort. Some are even presented in a way that makes you think the person writing them is not some crazy goofball living at home with their parents … in the basement.
But they are still very, very wrong.
The Internet is stuffed with wild theories and speculation. Much of it is harmless. But much of it is dangerous and simply stupid. Sadly, people buy into it because it reinforces their worldview. That is people on the left and the right.
I have had discussions with people who have sworn things are true. But when confronted with facts they simply dismiss them. When asked to present their own facts, they present opinion instead. An opinion is just that, and should not be confused with a fact.
Of course, we all know we are becoming a less fact-based world, sadly. People now just hunker down in their thought bunkers and gorge themselves on information that they agree with, reality be damned.
Sure, it is frustrating. And more importantly, it is incredibly harmful to the nation and the world. One cannot simply exist in their own bubble and truly understand the reality that is going on around them.
It is the adult equivalent of sticking you fingers in your ears and saying, “Nanananananananana” to try to keep from hearing what you don’t want to hear.
The most annoying thing of all is that the truth is right there, staring at them. We have the technology right in our hands. The information is available in seconds. Reality has never been more readily available.
By choosing to ignore it, we are harming not only ourselves but our country.
They say if you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. Well, history is there for all to read about and see at any time. It’s not that we are not learning from it. It’s that we have given up trying to learn at all.