Thursday, September 11, 2008

I am very worried about the state of information literacy in the United States...

... especially as we head into the final stretch of what's likely to be the most important election in a century or more. When I see blog posts such as "Barry, we hardly knew ye" on the (usually entertaining and informative) RealDan blog, or get subjected to the sound bites of the hour when I walk by a TV or skim newspaper headlines (seriously, how much energy, for example, was wasted in the last 24 hours, debating appropriate usage contexts for the word "lipstick"?...), I wonder if even George Orwell could have imagined the extreme dimensions of information literacy entropy we're seeing in today's mainstream media and blogosphere.

I admire Mitch Kapor's thinking, in a recent blog post on the election scene: don't panic, check the facts, and get involved.

I'm not subtly trying to tell you who to vote for or what to think; I'm just imploring you to actually think about what's going on, and to not let yourself be distracted by dubious information channels, divisive political marketing memes, AdSense junkies trying to get page hit count pops, etc.

Tangentially, I just removed the AdSense control from my blog template. I"m not suggesting I think Google is evil, and I rarely earned more than lunch money from AdSense anyway, but I want to remove even the potential for perception of a conflict of interest: this blog is for sharing observations about the software market, and sometimes about broader information and collaboration related topics, such as information literacy; I'm not trying to sell you anything...

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