Rethinking Knowledge in the Internet Age - Los Angeles Review of Books
"The internet started out as the Information Highway, the Great Emancipator of knowledge, and as an assured tool for generating a well-informed citizenry. But, over the past 15 years, that optimism has given way to cynicism and fear — we have taught our children that the net is a swamp of lies spun by idiots and true believers, and, worse still, polluted by commercial entities whose sole aim is to have us click to the next ad-riddled page. Perhaps our attitude to the net has changed because we now see how bad it is for knowledge. Or perhaps the net has so utterly transformed knowledge that we don’t recognize knowledge when we see it. For philosopher Michael P. Lynch, our fears are warranted — the internet is a wrong turn in the history of knowledge. 'Information technology,' Professor Lynch argues in his new book, The Internet of Us, 'while expanding our ability to know in one way, is actually impeding our ability to know in other, more complex ways.' He pursues his argument with commendable seriousness, clarity, and attunement to historical context — and yet he misses where knowledge actually lives on the net, focusing instead on just one aspect of the phenomenon of knowledge. He is far from alone in this ..."
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