Everything You Don’t Know Is Wrong – Part 2
So, last time I was basically saying that this internet thing means we all feel like we can address the world with whatever’s on our mind. Now the good thing about social media is that while we’re hollering into the ether, countless other megaphone-wielders are exercising their freedom of expression as well. So what we end up with is a kind of conversation, albeit frequently rather shouty and not always totally informed or reasoned. Being ill-informed, or mis-informed, is pretty much a global pastime thanks to the legacy of old media, where often a single news source is regarded as authoritative. Nowadays, most people are in a position to access numerous different viewpoints on any situation but does that mean we do? Does it ‘eck as like.
Everything you know is right. You bookmark it, you “like” it on Facebook, you follow it on Twitter, hey maybe you even create a special timeline for it. It’s your virtual world and your virtual news channel, full of your favourite things. A fun and comfortable world. Maybe. Unless, as enquiring minds have always done regardless of technology, you seek out a broader range of opinion. Get messy, prepare to be challenged, expect to be disappointed and get ready to examine your preconceptions. Because everything you don’t know is wrong, in a way. Subjectively. It’s weird and alien and unusual. There are viewpoints you didn’t know anybody held, because you’d never had cause to meet the people that hold them. There are things going on in the world, in your country, in your street, that you had no idea about because if they were publicised there’d be an outcry. Look, I’m not necessarily saying this is a great way to have fun. Whoever said ignorance is bliss at least knew enough to know that was true.
Neither, to be fair, am I setting myself up as some kind of beacon of impartiality. I’m aware that even as I look to take in a broad range of input, I get drawn to certain causes and certain interests. Just about everybody has a political and philosophical starting point and I’m no different. I’d just like to think that my default position of scepticism towards mainstream media motivates me to look for a bigger picture and to be aware of background agendas. So your job, as you read my witterings, is to remember that I, like everybody, am reacting to events and issues in a way that’s influenced by past experience, by attitude, by emotion, maybe even by prejudice. I’d love to know what you think of my biassed outpourings but, most of all, I’d like to encourage you to dig for truth wherever you can. It’s a worthwhile goal, albeit elusive.
Enough with the preamble. I think we’re now ready to get down to brass tacks (as they used to say in the days when they still had brass tacks). Which is just as well because there’s been a heck of a lot on my mind recently. Big stuff. It’s a busy world.