I read a story, can’t remember the source, that said today’s students are becoming increasingly stupid. The theory was that since information is available on demand, there’s no need to actually remember anything. Facts, it was asserted, are disposable.
This bothered me, and not just because of the hours, days, and months I’d spent doing library research and writing papers all through school. No, I was bothered because the new message was: you don’t need to know stuff. Pertinent information can be slotted in to your head for a short time, soon forgotten, and that’s totally ok.
Our own lack of knowledge can lead to disasters. As information is thrown at us, we lose the ability to decide which is real, which is fake, which is biased, and which is fair. This leads to generalizations based less on fact than opinion. If your own views match those espoused elsewhere, it must be true. It happens more and more because we’re too lazy (or unable!) to discern facts on our own. That’s why it must be true if it’s on FoxNews, CNN, or MSNBC.
Why aren’t we upset about it?