High on info, low on wisdom
Editorial

High on info, low on wisdom

November 16, 2017

The means of preserving literary works of ancient authors, many of them unknown to later generations, by memorising and word of mouth as it were along with etching on stone slabs and inking on palm leaves, compared to modern means of storing and conveying information, literary works and graphics using paper, printing, digitisation and wireless devices, now within the grasp of the entire mass of literati as it were, should leave anybody dumbfounded. The mass of data, information and knowledge landing on the lap of people at large in our times, not only for storing (as in the memory of electronic devices with several gigabytes of space) is bewildering to the extent of crossing the limits of human ability to take a 100 per cent look at that mass. The issue of generating data and info, almost effortlessly, and not concerned about such often unrewarding activity prompts one to recall the quote of philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan namely: Information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom.

Scientists, particularly the fraternity on the relentless look out ostensibly for answers to questions both simple and complex, along with inventors who have contributed beyond words to the vast changes in life of people in the range of inventing the wheel to computers together have reason to get disenchanted in the wake of the beneficiaries grossly wanting in translating the valuable information and knowledge into wisdom of living in an orderly and desirable manner.

Without giving the impression of downgrading or ignoring the positives of advances is science and technology, one cannot be blind to the myriad negatives of those advances, merely owing to their either misuse or overuse or both. The arrival of plastic on the world scene only a few decades ago, has already outlived its glory as a commodity that brought in its wake heightened convenience, comfort and the I-cannot-be-without-you feeling to everyone apart from replacing various expensive metals and raw materials witnessing scarce supply to the manufacturing sector. The ongoing Swachh Bharat Mission featuring plastic in a demonic image doesn’t require elaboration to anybody including Mysureans.

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The instances of overuse as well as misuse of technology in our times include a) Indiscriminate mining of sand from river beds, b) Denudation of greenery in both forests and urban spaces, c) Cluttering the roads with automobiles resulting in pollution and obstructing movement of people and so on are outstanding examples of the present generation finding itself high on info but low on wisdom of moderation in the use of technology in daily life. There are no signs of wisdom dawning on human race.

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