Information at your fingertips is no substitute for curiosity

by phil on Monday Mar 9, 2009 10:27 PM

In drafting the most recent post, I was about to just show this graph because I thought it looked powerful:

And then in about 30 seconds, after Googling "what percentage taxes rich" , I discovered a substantial counter-argument.

Initially that gave me hope about the power of "information at your fingertips." If it was 1994, and someone showed me that graph, I might have gone on thinking that that was the final nail in the coffin about the "war on the rich." Instead, in 2009, because I have access to Google, I can re-balance myself instantly. I can dig further for a wikipedia entry to explain it all.

I guess in 1994, what would've been necessary is a healthy skepticism. In 2009's technological environment, who needs skepticism when you can verify anything instantly?

But then I had another thought. Having all that information available is nothing if people aren't curious. If people only Google what they want to know, then Google will only amplify extreme points of view.

So here's an instance where technology can't solve everything. It can only go 50% of the way, and ultimately the individual has to choose whether to benefit from it.

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