The Potty Ark – The Information Age



History suggests that all the information in the world stored in a computer database may not save our world. The prophet Jeremiah knew very well that symbols in a box, even when supported by the force of arms, shall not suffice for enduring reform, for such reform must be of the living heart.But never mind history, say the enthusiasts who have faith in the Information Age. Information is merely a fetish for them; ironically, they believe that the study of history, the organization of information. is a vain endeavor. They are infatuated with living in the presumably progressive now, and might be even happier living as tomatoes; their short attention span, about that of a gnat, limits them to immediate, superficial experience. Indeed, without memory banks and operating routines to rely upon, they would not know what to do, and would be like a dog who runs into a room and forgets why it entered. Their vision of the future is little more than a variation on the present theme, an upgrade of the status quo. They are as zombies – they have become so deluded by the superstition of progress and so hypnotized by the religion of eternal consumption of more and more that they can seldom feel anything intensely, think independently, nor act on their own behalves. In terms of their beloved progress, history is a mistake, and their ignorance of it dooms them to repeat it. The high priests of the contemporary cult reiterate it on a grander scale: even the “word of God” has yet again been misconstrued into the ritual worship of dead arbitrary signs.

Logolatry is the favored form of idolatry today: Witness the perennial misconception that words, signs, or symbols are holy in themselves. Data is sacred currency accumulated in external storage devices to be manipulated externally by virtue of preordained programs. Users click on icons, stroke keys and push virtual buttons – the fear of fathers that their children become mere button pushers has come true.

Information is god, and the more we have of it the better. Corporate mammoths roam the world gorging on information. Nothing shall be secret in Utopia. Wisdom is for naught for it must be privately pursued, an effort much too arduous when the massive addiction to junk can be easily aggrandized by yet another dose produced by pointing at a pretty icon and clicking the magic mouse – remarkably, the little mouse has been a subject of animistic religion since time immemorial.

Information is now worshiped by all the sects; by philosophy, sociology, psychology, and by formal religion too; all under the guise of Logos. Many people who claim to love humankind can barely face each other nowadays; they prefer the illusion of personal control over society afforded by virtual reality. It is impossible to fight the trend and come out clean, for fights today are won by whosoever has the most information: the manure fights back on the farm were won by the kid who was closest to the spreader.

Jeremiah in a pessimistic vein might say that we have played god and have founded our utopia on a dunghill. The omnipotent baby’s potty should be emptied before we are buried in our remains. But if our ark is set afloat it may not get us to the other side, for it may eventually roll over and capsize from the weight of the dung of the two elephants mistakenly placed together on one side of the craft. We must better balance the load. Too much emphasis has been placed on useful information and on the worship of knowledge as if it were the power almighty.

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