Are we forgetting more and caring less?or is there just too much to remember? More information has been produced and stored in the past 5 years than at any time in human history, in the form of e-mails, websites, cell phone messages, TV and print. Despite the fact that we’re constantly bombarded with what seems like information, very little of it actually adds anything to human knowledge.

Most of what we’re exposed to are advertisements. Some researchers think the average person sees 2,500 ads each day. “We have absolutely no idea what this constant advertising babble is doing to us,” says Kalle Lasn of Adbusters. “The situation is similar to what we were experiencing at the start of the environmental movement 40 years ago, when people just didn’t want to believe that three parts per billion of some chemical in the air or water could be toxic and have all kinds of unforeseen consequences down the road. Today we are repeating that same mistake in our mental environment.” He calls this the “corporate colonization of the mind.”

Brian Wheeler writes in that the new glut of information means there are fewer global thinkers and that more scientists are narrowing their focus. Neuroscientist Keith Kendrick says, “What you might not necessarily see is the answers to the really big questions. I don’t think creativity will disappear entirely, but it has become a world of expertise in a more limited field. The big thinkers who try to make sense of a whole area of science are fairly rare.”

Kendrick says, “We have got so much information now that you are likely to overload your own personal capacity. You have to be able to gloss over information extremely fast, instead of dealing with everything in phenomenal detail.” He says that before the internet, the effort it took to get information, by going to the library, interviewing experts, etc., made the information more likely to stay in your mind because strong emotions became associated with it. “If you find it hard to get information, it sticks. Before the internet came along, just the achievement of finding out something was an emotional euphoria all by itself.”

Some people laugh at the truth and promote the lies, but not here at unknowncountry. We know the truth when we read it.

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