— Alexia @ITP

Screening information

Mark C. Taylor is among those very few writers and thinkers who are able to take many different disciplines of knowledge  and perform a compelling synthesis which creates wisdom. For me, “Screening information” is a precedent of how in today’s complex world of abundant information we should all be thinking and processing knowledge . Our thinking  process should be an unending examination of information in order for subjectivity and objectivity to constantly evolve. I really enjoyed how Mark C. Taylor studies the word “screening” and gradually creates a profound meaning of this word by drawing parallels with the study of knowledge and intelligence. As he quotes, “intelligence is the process of selecting relevant information carefully so it can skillfully destroy the rest”.  An interesting point he makes is how the excess of information becomes “noise.” But how can we distinguish between what is noise and what is relevant? I think that this distinction is mainly subjective based on our influences growing up, on our identity and also based on what we personally choose to absorb or believe. This unavoidable subjectivity in combination with the large flow of information also explains how there is so much miscommunication in our world nowadays. But when you think about it, can there ever be a single truth? Or are there multiple truths?

I believe that as things become more complex, people long for greater simplicity. People need filtered information and don’t have the patience nor the attention spam to examine information carefully and thoroughly. The concept of the “World Brain” and Well’s idea of the World Encyclopedia which will be “a sort of mental clearing house for the mind, a depot where knowledge and ideas are received, sorted, summarized, digested, clarified and compared” raises this idea of filtered information. As the world becomes more interconnected, the necessity for careful  cultural analysis increases. If in network culture, technology is an “indispensable prothesis through which body and mind expand” can technology act like a thoughtful agent that will create this codependence and coevolution of the  physical, biological, social and cultural systems? Imagine all information presented in the form of  a hypertext rather than linear. This is how people should be thinking of information and technology could help achieve that. Another way for the coevolution of nature and culture to exist is for educational institutions to collaborate with each other in order to create a new open system and curriculum that will merge different disciplines and will draw analogies from multiple streams of thought.



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