Gathering and Discerning Information in the 21st Century
Celebrating over 16 years on the web.
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“Each of us believes himself to live directly within the world that surrounds him, to sense its objects and events precisely, and to live in real and current time. I assert these are perceptual illusions. Sensation is an abstraction, not a replication of the real world.” Vernon Mountcastle

Quote from YouTube Video: Kavli Prize Laureate Lecture – The Restless Brain



Philosophy of the Information Age

The Information Age has ushered in Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud platforms, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in what people are calling “The Forth Industrial Revolution”. It is expected to change the way we live, work, think, and learn. This new disruptive age of machines is causing us to define what it is to be human, what skills are uniquely human, and how best to gather, discern, and organize information.

On several levels, we humans are all the same:

  • All life, planets, and stars are made of the same elements: Mostly carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen.
  • Our DNA is almost all the same: 3 billion base pairs make up our genome with only about 3 million that differentiates you from me.
  • We all have the same 4 forces acting upon us: Gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong & weak forces.
  • We all share the same time: We all live 24 hours a day and for about 960 months. (80 years = 960 months, and you will sleep about 1/3 leaving you 600 months to build a life! What can you do in a month?)
  • We all have access to the same information. Billionaires use the same mobile phones as we do and the same Internet to access information.

Now that Google (or the Internet) knows everything, and we know that everybody can access it, knowledge is no longer an advantage. In fact, we expect developed people to know how the world works, and how atoms are formed and interact in space and time. We expect people to know how we got here through evolutionary processes and why we do the things we do. YouTube made it easy to be in the know, massive open online courses (MOOC) are free, and educators like David Christian developed a first with his course, The Big History, which explains our collective knowledge from the Big Bang to the modern society in about 24-hours of material. Knowledge is free and equally accessible to all, so there are literally no more excuses to be ignorant.

The 4th Industrial Revolution leaders are saying it is what you do with all our knowledge that is important, and developing your human uniqueness will make the value in the future market place. [See article on the new skills of the future: New-Collar-Skills-Development-2017-05-03]

There is one overbearing point we must understand is the need for “discernment”. When anyone, anywhere can access the wealth of the world’s knowledge from a mobile phone the critical point becomes how to discern what information is going to support a life of meaning and purpose. Learning to evaluate and sort through the bad information, the bullshit and the plain useless information to get reliable accurate information that can contribute to helping you understand yourself, better understand and interacting with the other people especially when they have a different perspective and contribute to making this world a better place.

This article explores valuable techniques that you can use to gather, discern, and apply information to increase your awareness and ability to effectively interact with this rapidly changing, digital world….. Read More