The era of the autodidact

As I wrote elsewhere recently “fake news is good news because it is forcing us to make more effort to work out what is true and what isn’t”.

I had someone say to me the other day “Wasn’t it better in the old days when life was simpler and the news told you the truth?”

Life was never simple, the news just simplified it, made it look like theirs was the only version of the truth, and we didn’t know any better.

We can’t go back to those days.

We need to learn critical thinking, we need to work harder at working out where our information is coming from and what bias it is being subjected to.

We also need to apply the principle expressed in my book that “we all have a volume control on mob rule”. We need to think harder about what we share, why we are sharing it, “=and what the consequences will be.

In order to make these decisions about truth and what we share we need to be better informed. We need to be more curious. We need to learn more and faster. We need to do this for ourselves.

2 thoughts on “The era of the autodidact

  1. In the days before the Web and Social Media I would travel once a month to Glasgow from Aberdeen with another brought up in the South of England as the city was undergoing a revival and it sold things not available in the North East of Scotland. One of the things that struck both he and myself was the level of curiosity and drive to educate that was on display from those who were from blue collar craftsmen’s families. These folk would tell us of what was available to be seen in the Municipal Library, School of Art and obscure museum collections just as readily as where to get a drink or something to eat given that we were students on a budget.
    These people had grown up working defined shift patterns thus with defined measure time in a place with municipal buildings that provided talks and engagement services. They has undergone training programs that saw them mix with a number of people across a wide social background, something a Sociologists 100 years ago might have called gameinschaft. These encouraged education in a way that we don’t today and gave the time and tools to do so.
    Today we have too many working on zero hours contracts or a portfolio freelance staff who thus do not know what free time they have from week to week. We no longer have municipal libraries and museums or evening classes accessible to all that hold the resources to learn at your own speed and ability, Universities are no focused on performance rather than outreach. We have replaced it with a pocket computer that connects to an algorithm that reenforces what your social circles thinks rather than expands your mind to understand why we all don’t think the same or feel the same when looking at a similar event!


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