The Great Paradox of the Digital Age: Finding Wisdom

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The pursuit of wisdom in the digital world.

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The Great Paradox of the Digital Age: Finding Wisdom

  1. 1. The Great Paradox of the Digital Age: Finding WisdomRon Rosenbaum, in a recent Smithsonian Magazine article, captured the essence of the topic eloquently.To paraphrase:“All the great thinkers of all the civilizations past and present are one or two clicks away. The great library ofAlexandria, nexus of all the learning of the ancient world – that burned to the ground – has risen from the ashesonline. And yet - here is the paradox – the wisdom of the ages is in some ways more distant and difficult to find thanever, buried like lost treasure beneath a fathomless ocean of online ignorance and trivia that makes what is worthyand timeless more inaccessible than ever.”“The historically illiterate, internet intellectuals, and hucksters of the purportedly utopian digital future are decapitatingour culture, trading in the ideas of some 3,000 years of civilization for … Buzz Feed.”Quoting Goethe … “”He who cannot draw on 3,000 years [of learning] is living hand-to-mouth.”An endless choking mass of “info” spews forth from every digital device; simultaneously presenting unparalleledopportunity and challenge.Hordes of the mentally hungry prowl the net, seeking instant gratification.“Instant experts” pop up everywhere.In all this swirling mass lie the snippets that separate the informed from the deluded.As has been the case since time immemorial, the hope and opportunity of each individual lies in sorting through the“noise”, seeking the pearls, assessing, and thinking.As always, this is a challenging but worthy enterprise with the reward of rising above the uninformed mass.As always, knowledge is built upon knowledge and must be taken in steps.Of course, one man’s wisdom is another man’s folly; which is where our individual discriminating judgement comesinto play. Even the great library of Alexandria probably contained it’s fair share of ancient BuzzFeed.Don’t let yourself be lulled and mentally dulled by the ever-growing mass of digital noise that increasingly invades ourlives. Despite our best efforts to develop artificial progeny, the human mind is still the most powerful tool we possess.Use it as your “Alexandria Librarian”. Don’t “live hand-to-mouth”.Good Hunting,Alan WalshOwner, Huntington Consultancy

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