What We All Think We Know
Other than the technology we use the 21st century isn’t all that different from any other century that preceded it. Like in any other time the most valuable commodity is information. Information is the driving force behind the decisions we make. As far back as the Bronze and Iron Ages we can see how information gathered as explorers and merchants traveled along high traffic trading routes, or bustling cities allowed for example for advancements in smelting that produced better metal-work in art as well as war.
Where there is information there also exists misinformation, and both are powerful tools when allowed to spread unfettered to the masses. In this digital age the information or misinformation that will shape the actions we take in the 21st century aren’t written on scrolls, papyrus, or coded handwritten missives. These truths and untruths are typed, recorded, posted and distributed online. They exist as a patchwork of stand alone half truths masquerading themselves like a fully developed unbiased analysis of the physical world. What we realize as literacy rates go up globally and more people gain access to the internet is that perception, and interpretation are the human editing tools that makes information impactful.
Perception allows us to see that their human rights violations of the Fidel Castro authoritarian government in Cuba that tore families apart, confiscated wealth, and suppressed dissent can live simultaneously and harmoniously with the transformative realities of the Fidel Castro regime having literacy and life expectancy rates that rival the developed world, and who’s initiatives against Aparthied in South Africa, and humanitarian works with neighboring Caribbean countries has given it a reputation as a valued partner in the region.
Perception is led by our ability to think critically and seek full disclosure and context in the information we CHOOSE to consume. Opening our scope of thought allows us to elevate our conversations and interactions. If we can acknowledge that our perceptions of the world are molded even in the digital world by the type of content we consume and that divergent does not always have to be subversive we might begin to unravel the chaos of the system that currently seems to entrap us and create a new tapestry sewn together with understanding.