There is a curious dichotomy that I notice nowadays. Technology has provided people with more sources of knowledge and information than ever before in history. There are search engines one could query, Wikipedia articles one can refer to, or read entire books which are now available at one's fingertips. Despite all this information at his disposal, however, the average person appears more ignorant than ever before. He appears ignorant of local and global history, ignorant of world affairs, ignorant of politics and geopolitics, ignorant of basic economics, philosophy, ignorant of his own roots and ignorant of his own position as an individual in this world. How does one explain this in an age which provides unlimited potential for knowledge through technology? The issue is that the average person consciously chooses to ignore all the advantageous aspects of new technology and concentrate on taking and sharing selfies, on spouting, re-spouting, and re-tweeting his observations or the observations of his friends, on basing his entire understanding of the world on simplified explanations from simpleminded people. He reads what passes off as literature nowadays, LoTR, Harry Potter, Hunger Games and then considers himself a book-lover because it is cool to be a book lover. Perhaps he even deludes himself into thinking that he is literate after all and in this delusion he is helped by the many degrees which society has heaped on him. BE, MS, PhD and many other such balderdash which have nothing automatically to do with intellect.

All people are born idiots which is to say that they have no automatic interesting ideas to begin with and no intelligence to write home about. Children, as young people, make up for their lack of intellect with a freewheeling and spontaneous attitude and this transaction is very appropriate for their age. This is, in fact, an automatic transaction and it keeps the world colorful. No gravity should, therefore, be expected of kids and young people. However, the continuation of idiocy in older people is embarrassing and this is what I see in the modern world. I am too much of a cynic to have the romantic idea that there was ever a time when the world was bubbling with a citizenry which on the whole was reasonable. I don't think this was ever the case but I do think that the prevalence of simplemindedness is increasing and that it is being fueled by the modern obsession with technology. In this world we have equated information with knowledge and this is a deep mistake. Not only because the two are not equivalent but also because it allows those who are intellectually bereft to hide in the shadows and pretend that their opinions are worth more than they really are. And this you notice in all the comment sections on the internet which, one gets the feeling, are fueled mostly by Google searches and superficial understanding of issues. Why is this understanding superficial? There are roughly two sets of people from whom one learns in this world. The first set comprises of those with whom we come in direct or indirect personal contact and with any luck we will find a few in this bunch who will teach us something lasting and worthwhile. But more often than not this first bunch will comprise of no such people in which case the best that can be expected is that we at least learn that there is a wide and complex world out there which requires careful thinking to unravel. The second bunch is made up of those who are vastly more intelligent than one is and contact with them is an indirect and conscious choice and is in the form of books, music, essays etc. It is only in the company of this second set of people that one can train our otherwise uncultivated brains to think in shades of grey and it is this component which is missing in the modern deluge of connectedness. When we derive all or most of our understanding from our fellow human being through Facebook then we understand nothing at all. We remain the idiots that we were born as, except this time with no saving grace at all.

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