Social media. Criticism. The blogosphere. Critical Thinking. Change.
There was an article in the NY Times this week about plagarism in the digital age. The amount of information readily available just by surfing the web is incredible. When I was a kid, having research books at home were a luxury. Now these books are viewed as doorstops, though the information in them was vetted. Written through a single dimensional lens, but vetted. Now Wikipedia is the first stop for research. And sometimes it is just plain wrong.
But a lot of time it is just a puke of information, with no critical thought. There is so much information available that without filters, without someone to help parse it, it cannot be managed. By filters I do not mean to suggest someone who tells you what to think. What I mean is developing the skills to think for yourself. And to risk being wrong.
Civil discourse is a rare art these days. This includes politics, art, religion. Is it because of the many outlets social media provides? Or is it because we are so afraid of being “wrong” that we won’t risk being provocative, or thoughtful?
On the other side of this conversation, we are able to question qualifications and authority. Is s/he qualified to have an opinion?
All of us need to figure out how to deal with the deluge of information at our disposal. How to sort through it. Filter it for ourselves. Come up with an opinion. And share that opinion with civility.