Getting Good Information
It is political season – wait, wait don’t stop reading just because I said political!!! Though I understand why you would.
The ins and outs of the races has me thinking again about information and its usefulness. I bet you are wondering about some of the information out there and how useful or true it is as well!
We are bombarded by information every day. Some studies say that every day the average American absorbs 6 full newspapers of information. When you compare this with 30 years ago when the average was 2-3 newspaper pages things begin to come into focus. When those of us over the age of 25 think back we can remember a time when we did not have internet, over 40 cable television, over 60 television at all. The explosion of access to information may very well be the hallmark of this age of history.
Is all of this information improving our lives? In some ways. I love being able to search the internet for things I would have gone to a library for 20 years ago. I don’t miss those needle in a haystack trips even though I find libraries one of the most peaceful places on earth. I also like the way I can reach people I want to more quickly and efficiently. Just this week I reconnected with an old friend from Tennessee. That would not have been practicable without the internet.
I also find myself wasting a lot of time looking for trivial things… we are all aware of the more aggressive time robbing facets of the information age. While trying to compose this I was interrupted by a half dozen emails and a few texts. Such is the new way of life!
“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge” said John Naisbitt, a businessman who also served in JFK’s administration.
Does information lead us to better decision making? Critical thinking? No, in fact I believe the overwhelming access to information hurts our ability to be decisive. Something pulls us to check one more site on the internet, find one more source, post a facebook question and poll our friends about an issue we are facing. We do not lack data or information, we lack wisdom.
Clifford Stoll put it this way, “Data is not information, information is not knowledge, knowledge is not understanding, understanding is not wisdom.” While I can go just about anywhere to get information, it will never become wisdom without a refining force that transforms it into applicable principles based on the foundations of life itself.
I submit to you the Bible is that very catalyst, a transforming agent that has the power to transform all of the information we ingest into a valuable commodity far superior to anything we might obtain without it. The Bible, when added to the who, what, where and when uncovers the why. Life without the what Socrates would call the unexamined life. I will leave it to you to Google “Socrates – Unexamined – Life” if you don’t know what his opinion was on that subject.
Even the effort to write this little post is a good example of time wasted unless it accomplished one thing, it challenges and encourages you the reader to examine the information you ingest and consider increasing the amount of scriptural wisdom you partake. If this is the result, it is time well wasted!