If you look at our society — our laws, wars, the astounding popularity of video games, the obsession with guns, money, violence; the compulsive need to inflict harsh punishments on petty drug and property crimes, the willingness to not only allow our neighbors to be hungry, homeless, and sick, but to insist that their fate is the result of their own failures and sins , a just punishment from God— but if any of us should find ourselves wanting, it is always so obviously due to the malice of criminals, or the corruption of the government, the machinations of evil….
it becomes clear that our society is languishing somewhere between childhood and adolescence. Adulthood, maturity, and self-awareness elude us. And wisdom is just a distant dream, a word spoken, often claimed, but not understood. We use so many words — justice, wisdom, freedom- that we hold so dear and value so highly, but who among us can even say what they mean, other than how they serve our own singular, selfish needs?
The internet connected us to a library of knowledge unimaginable to any scholars who ever loved learning. And yet, in just a few years, we have transformed our conception of the internet — it is no longer a means of learning, a way to bring the knowledge of the world to us; it is now a means of promoting and enlarging our self image, a way to bring ourselves to the world.
How many times have you witnessed an endless online argument about a topic that could be resolved by going to a website published by those who have devoted their lives to studying the topic, but no one bothers — or worse, they reject the views of scholars and the experience of professionals if it contradicts their own ideas?
The internet did not create this immaturity and insecurity in our society, nor compound it. On the contrary, our pre-adolescent society took the greatest library, containing nearly the sum of human knowledge, and converted it into a middle-school gym class, where cliques and bullies define the rules of the game, and those who enjoy learning want to go somewhere else, so they can sit alone and read a book.