The information age and the enlightenment

I wonder hhow we are to understand the information age in terms of the enlightenment ideology. Things to consider:

1. The availability of information – to all, (for all?)

2. The abuse of information (data mining etc)

3. The kind of information people want (relating to capitalist consumption)

4. Criticism of agencies

I heard an interesting suggestion once, that the internet was like Plato’s world of forms. I dismissed it immediately, but then thought there was a laughable, yet interesting isomorphism. The one thing about Plato is that he seems to pop up everywhere.

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One thought on “The information age and the enlightenment

  1. People often talk about the notion of a spiritual world. When they maintain that such a world exists but is non physical I reject the notion on the basis that I take physical to mean everything within our universe. As the universe is defined to be the causally connected region containing you and I then anything outside it cannot effect us. In this case the spiritual world doesn’t matter.

    On the other hand if the notion of physical is weakened to what aspects of the universe can be best described in terms of the interaction of matter then various things become non physical including minds. The internet is a place where minds and ideas may move around without meaningful bound (speed of light only) and where the minds can be immortal.

    When I was up in Snowdonia recently I felt a very peculiar feeling. The internet was not accessible to me. It was like a warm blanket had been removed and I was exposed to the cold. I have such ready and realiable access to the internet that I’ve come to regard it as being a sort of parallel plane that I can tap into for information and to communicate with friends and family. I intuitively feel its presence around me when I walk to work or go to do the shopping.

    It interests me that the very people who seem so certain of the existence of a spiritual world also seem so ready to reject the most reasonable version of this belief i.e. the belief that humanity is engaged in the creation of such a world and it is called the internet.

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