new era

Moments of Contemplation: Information is not Knowledge

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This morning I stayed up to watch the sunrise. As I stood in the doorway with a fresh cup of coffee in hand, taking in the warm glow and the stillness, I was suddenly stuck by the sight of something unexpected.

I watched as a car drove up the street and stopped in the middle of the road a few houses down. A man stepped out of the vehicle and tossed a rolled newspaper onto the front steps of a house across the street, which was actually quite an impressive feat since the door was a good twenty feet away. Then the man then got back into his car and drove away out of sight.

This seemingly unremarkable moment may have gone unnoticed except that it had roused a curious thought in my mind “wow, newspapers are really dead”. Nothing spelled it out more than realizing paper routes must now be done by vehicle since only one house in three blocks was interested. I used to have a paper route myself and even the worst block would have four to five subscribers.

Our digital age and our digital tastes are changing so many aspects of our everyday lives, even as I write this I’m sitting on the step typing away at my laptop. I hope we take moments to ask questions about the impact of these changes.

Is it better to be served up the news as filtered by one media entity like a newspaper or to have access to all the opinions and information on the Web? I often wonder if the vast abundance of data allows us to pick and choose what we like and create any narrative that suits us.

As Albert Einstein put it “Information is not knowledge.”