Monday, March 3, 2008

Is Too Much Information Killing Us?

We have the Internet. We have Wikipedia. We have Youtube. And we have more websites and blogs than anyone can count. And each and every day these "sources" grow, most of the time, exponentially.

But can all this someday destroy us? I'm not talking about information bringing about inevitable Doomsday with bombs and large explosions and stuff (though it could), but what I'm trying to say is this: can the overflow of information end up doing humanity more harm than good?

Some of the possible detriments that I could see arising, in the near future, from the overflow of information include:

1.) An increased sense of apathy towards discovery and exploration. This may lead to less enthusiasm for scientific advancement if the younger generations become less motivated to discover and explore.

2.) A decreased appreciation for knowledge for the sake of knowledge. People may become less willing to learn for the sake of learning and they learn only when their situation necessitates it. This could possibly lead to cultural detriment.

3.) Knowledge would become more of a commodity rather than an inherent right. With knowledge being pumped out each day, there's always cases where companies and corporations attempt to "red tape", legalize, and put a price tag on everything. This could lead to a more "tied up" legal system where most of the government's legal assets are spent on sorting out messes caused by increased information rather than towards more legitimate cases.

4.) Plagiarism and academic dishonesty may become rampant if left to itself (it's pretty rampant as it is now).

5.) As knowledge continues to grow, more knowledge will inevitably become available to the masses, including to the criminal elements present within the masses. If specific pieces of knowledge fall into the wrong hands (bomb building, weapons making, nuclear device production, etc.), dire consequences would no doubt follow.

6.) An increased “docile-ness” and gullibility among the masses. With too much information to handle, less people would bother to investigate products or pieces of information, because it would be too much trouble or too overwhelming to look into facts. People would, therefore, grow to mindlessly accept what they’re told out of both convenience and apathy, even if the information's wrong or misleading.

Overall, I believe that there's nothing wrong with acquiring and having information. It's just a matter of why and how you got that information and what you end up doing with it that makes it either "wrong" or "right". But where should we draw the line with this? Or should we draw a line at all? What say you?

1 comment:

Rick said...

I agree. There is too much information.



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