My immediate peers and myself represent the last generation to entirely procure our moral and ethical standards without the aid of electronic devices. Our learning stemmed from what we read in hard copy, were taught in schools, was profoundly expounded upon by leaders in faith, politics and sociology, men and women of science and the intellectual elite. Our input was filtered, quite correctly, by common sense, practicality, and most importantly general agreement, recognized and provable truths as opposed to inane rumor and hyperbole. The acceptance of truth requires trust, an agreement that society prefers correct interpretation to casual supposition.
For some reason, quite obviously far beyond my pay grade, the arrival of electronic data collection, annotation, and publication, resulted in a collapse of many an individual’s ability to accept what had previously been generally and consistently agreed. Almost as if the minds in the machines, whom we know quite incontrovertibly are entirely ambivilous towards the concept of right or wrong, as intent on orchestrating present and future patterns of humans thought and any understanding of reality.
Have we in some surreal way seen a renewal of a Luddite type resistance against technology, but one that focuses on fighting against a perceived threat to the individuals right to accept and propagate absurd and illogical beliefs, rather than any menace to employment. No doubt such protestations will eventually falter and fail, for rowing a tiny coracle against the current of public accepted opinion has ever proved an activity bound to founder.
The manipulation of the public is hardly a new concept, that particular axe has been honed over many a century till the edge is extremely sharp and capable of severing all kinds of ideas unwelcome to the ruling elite. The singular defense against such exploitation by the powers that be has always been that truth will eventually out, no matter how deeply it is buried or cunningly concealed. Verity must never be obliterated, it is factuality, and has to be protected against all efforts to dilute or compromise.