New Civilization News: Information and Experience    
 Information and Experience20 comments
picture 7 Dec 2002 @ 16:50, by Flemming Funch

One thing John Perry Barlow pointed out is that people today often are unable to differentiate between information and experience. For example, the murder rate has been plummeting all over the U.S. for the past 20 years or so, and it is statistically very, very unlikely that you will be murdered. But the news media is reporting as if it is an all-pervasive problem. And a great many people will act as though it is, walking around every day being afraid of being murdered, despite that they live in a peaceful neighborhood, mowing the lawn and going to the store like everybody else, and nothing violent ever happens there. Their experience is totally different from the information given, but yet they believe the information, because it is delivered with a certain intensity.

Same thing with war in Iraq. Most Americans are in no possible way actually endangered by whatever weapons Saddan Hussein controls half-way around the planet. But the news tells them that it is a very real and imminent danger. So they go around being concerned about it, trying to think of solutions, as if it were really a part of their lives. The information is taken for real, even though their experience doesn't back it up in any way.

People forget to validate the information. I'm not just talking about validating and verifying the sources of the information, in terms of being good information sources. But simply that you check with your own life whether it fits with your experience. Does it match what I'm seing in front of me in my life? Not what I'm seeing on other channels, not what I hear people talking about, but what I'm actually seeing, hearing, feeling as actual events in the real world in front of me.

In all my life, I can only think of one person that I met, superficially, who later on got murdered. In that case by a family member. That's a very, very low percentage based on all the people I've met. It doesn't match up with the information the TV news gives me, that it is one of the biggest problems in my world.

Another side of the issue is that for many people, the information in the media might be preferable to the real thing. My 16 year old son is quite inclined to express that he finds it pointless to go to some event that he can watch on TV. Why go to the circus or to the Grand Canyon, if a TV show can get all the best shots, and edit it into a snappy format that never is boring, and where you don't have to drive for hours and stand in line. Is information better than experience? I think not, but many kids in the video game generation might have a different idea about it.

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7 Dec 2002 @ 16:55 by bri_outten : yes
I tend to agree.



8 Dec 2002 @ 04:11 by istvan : Life s both: an illusion and reality...
I am by birth a Libra, by astrological classification. More often than i would like, when i am presented a problem,a hypothesis,a paradox, i am unable to take sides for i am almost forced to see both sides of "reality" or unreality, if you like.
It is the most difficult task for me to take sides, or set up a set of standards to live by.All standards and so called "Thruths" i temporalily been attached to have been vaprized in my past, and disappeared, not unlike sceenes from a passing thrain to remain in some so called cellular memories for my use in future "comments".
I could go on musing about this for pages, but enough of this. They are just to let you know what i am trying to say in the following paragraph(s),(and sorry for all the I's,(i's}, but how else to refer to this thing that i am.
Both you and your son are right and not right either.
There are things and events in a multidimensional flow of human experience that we can only have glimpses into through the wonders of technology, souch as the media.Your choice to travel to meetings and events is right for you. By traveling you pollute and spend money. Your son, sitting in front of the tv can acceess the same informatio, but diluted by the hiddem motives, or lack if skills of the presenter. In actuality you both loose ang gain equally.
To find the solution here a real GROKING of reality is needed.
There are things and events that need "right discrimination" as to their values and importance to one's life "in the flow", the ralativistic values of the here and now, of illusions of any truths within the ever changing "matrix" of "no one really knows" what it's all about. I am happy for those who are able to get attached to temporary conclusions, for they at least achived fleeting moments of peace.
Perhaps in searching for a new civilisation we will "bump" into some ways to discriminate among ways to "discern" what needs to be made available as Knowledge bases and what experiences need direct participation for gaining wisdom.
Most books i have read, events i have participated in, remain for me as reference points for being able to make comments to someone else's vievs of reality.
All this is just siply say that i think that both the TV and the thravel is needed, but serve different purposes , satisfying different needs. If i wanted to travel to all the conferences i want to, buy and read all the books recommended by you and others, at this time i would have to be a millionare and secure at least 3-4 lifetimes to complete.That is why in the future we have to assamble databases that contain information that useful in making decisions for our own use and the use of all members of any civilisations.  

8 Dec 2002 @ 05:13 by ming : All sides.
Yeah, you're right of course. Heheh, I'm a libra too. I'm working on becoming more confortable taking strong stands on things. But I'm really most confortable seeing several sides at once. Which drives some people crazy.  

8 Dec 2002 @ 08:48 by spiritseek : Fence sitter
I can say the same goes for me. Today I choose to comment on the pros and tomorrow I might see the cons have a better case.Debates, I take the opposite of whatever the other is stating, why, someone has to in order to form a better answer.Might be the Aquarian in me, the humanitarian,the fighter of the underdogs of the world.  

8 Dec 2002 @ 16:28 by sharie : Taking Strong Stands
What do you want to take strong stands on? I'd like to hear about this.  

8 Dec 2002 @ 23:54 by ming : Strong stands
Hm, it is not necessarily that there are some secret strong stands I haven't divulged. I usually do see several sides of things, but I'm trying to not always have to hedge my bets with them. Sometimes it works better in the long run to say what feels most right at the moment.  

12 Dec 2002 @ 15:28 by sharie : what feels right
Taking strong stands means you want to say what feels right at the moment?
(she bursts out laughing)

I need to be a better communicator.

You provide inspiring ideas (a little vague) but inspiring.  

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