Fried Brain

New Daily Post that caught my attention:

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.” — Gertrude Stein

Do you agree?

I’m not so much sure yet about the second half of that quote from Stein, but I do agree, we are inundated with an avalanche of information on a daily basis that it can be overwhelming. And the funny thing about this is that Stein died before the television took off. She’s talking from the perspective of wide newspaper circulation, the advent of photographs and the radio. Add the television, the network channels, the cable channels in the 1980s and then the explosion of the Internet in the 1990s and especially within the last ten years coupled with the explosion of the smartphone; we are constantly inundated with information attached to our pocket, so we can retrieve it at any waking second.

On any given day, I have between three and 25 tabs open on my Google Chrome browser. Various articles and subjects that I want to read, maybe even write on. Then there’s the tabs open on my Safari browser on my smartphone. Then there’s articles I’m reading at the moment instead of saving for later. It’s madness, but at the same time, as a political junkie, I dig it. I like being connected. The stream of Tweets is the junk of the “political junkie” equation that fuels my habit.

As for the erosion of common sense in the face of this information, maybe. I think people generally have a confirmation bias that means they only read things already conforming to their common sense or lack thereof. I’m guilty of this at times, too, because I read libertarian literature or writers I agree with, but I also try to be exposed to differing viewpoints. So who knows.

3 thoughts

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