by Brad Nelson 4/26/19
I the midst of the rabble of boutique-publishing click-bait that passes for thought at American Thinker, Bruce Price wrote something outstanding in K-12: Internet vs. Ignorance. Who Wins?
The big problem is that schools and media stopped fulfilling their responsibility, in Thomas Jefferson’s words, “to educate and inform the whole mass of the people.” Schools aren’t teaching many facts; most media don’t objectively report facts. Can we now expect a vast ignoranti to govern itself? People by the millions may chat on Facebook, but do they know what World War II was? What lessons have they learned from the rise and fall of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, and Pol Pot? Can people have big thoughts if they don’t know the small facts about history, geography, science, and politics?
Arguably, the American public has descended to a depth of ignorance that is genuinely frightening. Sure, the internet can bring everybody together at the digital table. But what will everybody talk about? What will they have in common beyond each day’s ephemera?
Some digital pundits are dreaming seductive dreams. But the intellectual landscape shifts under them. The premise seems to be that voters will somehow be smarter and wiser than ever before. Perhaps that train has already left the station. Today, students learn little. As they become adults, their brains fill with swill from agitprop operations calling themselves media. Ignorance squared.
Here’s the big question: how do we prevent digital breakthroughs from being just another chapter in social engineering that leads to dictatorship?
American visionaries should oppose the dangerous ignorance now settling over the country. WIRED especially should confront that ignorance.
Clear. Concise. Relevant. Good analysis without roaming into frothy intellectualism. Well done, Bruce. You’ve outlined a major issue (and prejudice amongst the idiot yutes such as those at Wired). The entire article is worth a read.
Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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