Supported By The Illusion of Knowledge
The difference between information, knowledge and opinion is blurred.
I believe we are leaving the age of information and moving into the age of opinion. The age of information has become information glut, when so much information is available that people are unable to easily convert it to knowledge, or even process it all. This leads to a condition when so much information doesn’t tell us what we want or need to know — and people have a need to know. The more we know the more we realize we don’t know. More information produces more knowledge and less knowledge. The most educated person in the world now has to admit that he or she knows less and less, but at least knows less and less about more and more. Christopher Hitchens
So what do we do? When we want to know something and don’t know it, we make it up. This making it up is called the illusion of knowledge. This leads to misinformation — inaccurate information that is spread unintentionally, and to disinformation — inaccurate information that is spread intentionally, also called black propaganda. In the age of information, more information means more uncertainty. In the age of opinion, the illusion of knowledge eliminates uncertainty; to know corresponds with certainty and feels good.
Opinion can be more powerful than factual information. We now know that information doesn’t usually change opinion; facts don’t often change beliefs. A falsehood skillfully presented and repeated often, can influence people’s view of reality. The age of opinion is dramatically changing social and political discourse.
Today, the world has become so complex and so interconnected that it is not possible to know all the complexity and interconnectedness. More information can’t solve this dilemma. The greatest obstacle to knowing is not ignorance or too much information but the illusion of knowledge. We risk being the first people in history to have been able to make their illusions so vivid, so pervasive, so “realistic’ that they can live in them. Daniel Boorstin
The greatest need in our current high tech, free speech, participatory democracy may be an effective immune system to misinformation and disinformation. Can the media in our democracy provide a reliable source of comprehensive, holistic, accurate, unbiased, up-to-date information?
I know you can’t predict the future, but what are your assumptions and why are they your assumptions?