The most recent Wired has a column by Chris Colin on how the little Facebook “Like” button is destroying the human soul. No, seriously. At one point, he quotes another Wired contributor, Erik Davis:
Our culture is afflicted with knowingness. We exalt in being able to know as much as possible. And that’s great on many levels. But we’re forgetting the pleasures of not knowing. I’m no Luddite, but we’ve started replacing actual experience with someone else’s digested knowledge.
Those last two critiques are mutually incompatible. If the point is to rediscover the pleasures of not knowing, then shouldn’t someone else’s flattened and distorted knowledge be an improvement over actual experience? Unless he’s in favor of brute, pointless experiences, the kind from which one learns absolutely nothing — like reading this column.