I’m reading Jodi Dean’s “Publicity’s Secret” (great book by the way) for my Politics class. In a discussion of the obsession with information that pervades contemporary society she writes:
Something or someone stands right outside us, our knowledge and our visibility, withholding our legitimacy from us, preventing us from realizing the rightness we claim, that should be ours. Include just a few more people, a few more facts; uncover those denied details, those repressed desires; do this and there will be justice.
I just found this interesting because recently I’ve been thinking about (and wondering why it is like this) how contemporary society holds those with more knowledge up as the “experts.” It seems to me that there has been a shift from the quality of knowledge of a subject to the quantity. Those who read more newspapers, blogs, writings, anything are more qualified to speak on something; they are the ones who are informed. It has begun to appear to me that America (maybe other places too) has become obsessed with acquiring more and more information and using that as a basis for expertise. What seems to get lost is any consideration or critical analysis of where the information comes from. It has become about digesting and regurgitating the most information and not about looking closely at quality information and truly understanding that in order to synthesize a personal opinion or judgement.