This Is Not the Internet We Were Promised – Info Gadgets

Unprecedented access to information should have made modern flat Earth societies extinct. Why hasn’t it? 72% of Americans believe “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposefully misleading,” according to a poll by Axios and SurveyMonkey.

Our teens are turning to so-called flop accounts on Instagram to get news. The kids claim they cannot trust traditional journalists who are locked into their own perspective and instead seek out crowd sourced, meme-based information some of which is filled with “polarization, drama, and misinformation.”

The 2016 election was influenced by Russians. This has been reconfirmed by the US intelligence community and both congressional intelligence committees. However, when I ask folks in my area, rural Georgia, no one believes it or even cares to hear the details. Now these same folks are warning its happening again, but so few care.

According to a 2008 study at UCLA, when you read a book, instead of reading online, you learn more. This is because of the way working and long term memory work. The theory goes, when you’re reading a book, you are less interrupted, and the brain can do the work of transferring the info from working memory (the reading and comprehension) to long term (where it creates a schema that our brain uses to model reality in new ways). When reading online, we’re reading scattershot topics and distracted by ads and other links which distracts our working memory. Never would we have assumed back in those days that ads would infect our beloved reading so greatly that it would lose its ability to teach us.

That’s assuming people even try to read when they get online. Many times, I see people mindlessly scrolling with eyes glazed. Pics, memes, screeds, and ads in an endless stream barely registering as it scrolls by to be replaced by the next bit that we’re so afraid of missing out on. tl;dr — FOMO

My friend and I did not know that algorithms would sort information by engagement rather than accuracy. We did not know that the dictators toppled by social movements would be replaced by new dictators. We did not know celebrities would use their influence to sell snake oil, hangout with violent leaders, or threaten to become a violent leader themselves.

We also did not know that Steve Jobs’ strange fruit-based diet would contribute to his contraction of pancreatic cancer, or that his fascination with questionable medical practices would delay effective treatments.

We expected more. A Gutenberg Revolution 2.0. A wiser and faster world for our children, who are now in elementary school. We asked for eBooks, not Facebook. We dreamed of voters deciding on issues directly, not a Congress that barely functions even with one party controlling both houses and the oval. We wanted open information where degrees weren’t shielded by gatekeepers, not lifetimes of student debt with no worthwhile job prospects for degree holders.

This is not the internet we were promised. What happened?

Article Prepared by Ollala Corp

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