Samir’s Selection 06/06/2014 (p.m.)
Faking cultural literacy | Karl Taro Greenfeld
It’s never been so easy to pretend to know so much without actually knowing anything… What we all feel now is the constant pressure to know enough, at all times, lest we be revealed as culturally illiterate… What matters to us, awash in petabytes of data, is not necessarily having actually consumed this content firsthand but simply knowing that it exists – and having a position on it, being able to engage in the chatter about it… Data has become our currency…The information is everywhere, a constant feed in our hands, in our pockets, on our desktops, our cars, even in the cloud. The data stream can’t be shut off. It pours into our lives a rising tide of words, facts, jokes, GIFs, gossip and commentary that threatens to drown us. Perhaps it is this fear of submersion that is behind this insistence that we’ve seen, we’ve read, we know. It’s a none-too-convincing assertion that we are still afloat. So here we are, desperately paddling, making observations about pop culture memes, because to admit that we’ve fallen behind, that we don’t know what anyone is talking about, that we have nothing to say about each passing blip on the screen, is to be dead.
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