Knowing and not knowing

  • Do I need to know how the touch screen of Apple’s new iPhone works?
  • Are the details of Thailand’s latest army coup important?
  • Does an analysis of the buyout of the Hilton Hotel group have implications for my life?
  • If I did not know, would I be a happier person?

One of the down sides of RSS feeds, news compilers and online news more generally is my accessibility to events that happen ‘out there’ in the world. I asked yesterday if blogs that I read / news feeds that I scour help to attain personal happiness. If I deleted all of the RSS feeds on my browser’s toolbar, would I be happier?

If you did not know what goes on around you, then how can you claim to be ‘informed’? I routinely admonish people for not being ‘informed’. You should know about the politics and economics of Ireland, Europe and hell, the world so that you can make an ‘informed’ decision about life. Armed with this knowledge you can effect change ‘in the world’. The conflict within me between my capacity to effect this change (I am superhuman after all, I have an effect on everything, I have to have an opinion on everything) and a niggling sense that I have to look inside before I can look elsewhere is uppermost in my mind at the moment. As I am a white, European middle class professional man (at least that’s what my profile tells me) I have to be consumed by such matters. If I cannot effect change then who will??

I am now (only now you ask?) beginning to realise that looking within (who and how do I love, what is important to me in a friend) is more important than knowing how the touch screen on the iPhone works. It is an object, outside of me. I have subjectivity and so do you.

And if you leave comments to the last statement like “well, like, duuuh” then you deserve everything you get.

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