Where do you acquire knowledge? Where do you get your information? How do you decided what to believe and what not to? Do you really know what’s going on in Iraq? Usually, when I am in a conversation with somebody and they believe different things than I do, I will almost always ask them where they get their information.
I just read an article on slate entitled In Defense of Rupert Murdoch. The author, Jack Shafer, gives Mr. Murdoch credit for increasing our choices of the various medias to engage in. But Mr. Shafer doesn’t discuss the quality of the media. How many times have we heard people say things like, “I have over 100 channels and there is nothing on?” Much of the content of Mr. Murdoch’s numerous news and entertainment sources is very low quality. He may be increasing the choices, but it doesn’t matter if they are all crap. Murdoch fully understands that news is entertainment and the more sensationalist it is the more viewers he gets and the more advertising dollars role in. What I find truly scary is the amount of major information sources one company controls; from Harper Collins to 20th Century Fox to My Space to The Wall Street Journal to Fox News and thousands of others. For a full list look here or here.
Shafer ends his article by stating
“I’ll be starting a “Fair Play for Rupert” movement soon, with headquarters in New Orleans. If you want to join, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mail may be quoted by name in “The Fray,” Slate’s readers’ forum, in a future article, or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)”
I had never noticed the Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co. This knowledge made me research the Washington Post Co. only to discover that they operate Newsweek, Kaplan and various other newspapers, TV stations, and websites. So through this process I learned a little bit more about where the facts and opinions that I read come from.
What comes to my mind at the end of this post is that we really live in a Prison of Unreality where we are blasted every day with junk from conglomerates of mindlessness that keep us in ignorance. The only true Knowledge is embedded in the ancient sacred scriptures that have been studied since the dawn of humanity.
PS: I still plan on e-mailing Shafer this blog entry, because I enjoy engaging in meaningless information exchange.