It’s no secret that I spend a lot of time on the Internet on web forums and reading websites around video production. The advent of inexpensive webhosting and blogging platforms has certainly made it easier to get one’s voice heard. Web forums also give a voice with hundreds or thousands of potential readers.
Is that intrinsically a good thing?
Does the 10 year old on the playground who yells the loudest have the most accurate information on who is a bigger poopiehead?
There is a parable that is shared amongst several of the world’s religions about a group of blind men (or men in a darkened room) who deem to investigate an elephant and give an analysis of what an elephant is objectively based on their regional examination of the elephant, which is by definition a subjective analysis.
The Wikipedia entry for the parable can be found here.
The fundamental argument of the parable can be expressed as follows:
“ …the parable implies that one’s subjective experience can be true, but that such experience is inherently limited by its failure to account for other truths or a totality of truth.”
Increasingly, I’m seeing folks presenting an argument based on their own myopic view of a problem, symptom or situation without bothering to step back and take a broader view of the subject. This is quite akin to the aforementioned 10 year old in the playground yelling about the poopiehead who, when confronted with information to the contrary, puts his fingers in his ears and loudly screams “LA LA LA… I’m not listening!”
In the early days of the Internet as we know it, it was often referred to as the Information Superhighway. The Web seemed a particularly highbrow place (well… except for adult content and garish Geocities pages
) where the nerdy intelligentsia congregated.
Information seems to have been replaced for the most part by hyperbole (how I love that word…) and opinion.
Social media has replaced information repositories.
Just like The Cool Kids in school, certain purveyors of opinion and viewpoint are given larger and more grandiose soapboxes to proverbially stand on, as I wrote about in my own Blog post Cult of Personality
I for one try to find the truth and frequently step back to see things from a larger and more inclusive scope. I don’t always succeed and ultimately my world view can only encompass what I’m able to view given the access I can get, the amount of time and energy I’m willing to invest and my willingness to digest datum that I find that contradicts my own suppositions.
I encourage well-reasoned discourse and expanding my base of knowledge, which I try to share when and where welcomed.
I just find there are fewer and fewer outlets where contrary positions, no matter how well researched or thought out, are received gracefully.
I’m not always right but when I’m proven wrong, I try to learn from the experience, unlike these guys
Which side are you on?
Thanks for reading!