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MUNTING NAYON
News Magazine
Operated by couple Eddie Flores and Orquidia Valenzuela
News and Views of the
Filipino Community Worldwide
ABUNDANCE OF INFORMATION




by Jorge D. Lomboy

 
 


There is oversupply of information but there is shortage of credibility.  There is surplus of knowledge and there is shortfall of truth.  Information is the communication or reception of knowledge or intelligence.  Knowledge is obtained from investigation, study or instruction.  It is news, intelligence, facts and data.  It is inherent in and communicated by one of two or more alternative sequences or arrangements of something.  It is a signal or character representing data or a picture which justifies change in a construct that represents physical or mental experience or another construct.  It is a numerical quantity that measures the uncertainty in the balance of an experiment performed.  Broadly, information aggregates everything drawn by our senses from sights and sounds within and without.

There was a time when information was scarce, a time when it took weeks to have information delivered to us.  A dearth in information kept the people of old in limbo because the volume of exchange was marginal.  Information in early years came to us at a snail's pace even as literacy was widespread at its peak.  Those were the years when sources of information were from mouth to mouth by people traveling from place to place.  Scarcity of information hampered the development of knowledge and intelligence, it slowed down innovation in every dormant area of life.  Before the turn of the century, people who lived in countryside communities were the only sources of information and that is why little learning is such a dangerous thing.  Scarcity of information is the twilight of literacy among the growing minds of civilized people.

If we are always departing and arriving, it is also true that we are eternally anchored.  Our destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.  Despite a cult of success, many of us are mostly moved not by having information as a goal but by a hunger for information that gives us a swollen head as painful as a swollen tooth.  All of us without exception are in search of information of some kind that is pertinent to the circumstances we are encumbered with.  The eyes are not responsible when the mind does the seeking and the seeing.  Freedom is not worth having if it does not include freedom of information and information is not worth having if it smuggles the truth.  The search for truth has never been made easy by abundance of information and is not simplified by scarcity of information.  Even the well-informed have compromised credibility in their attestations of truth.

Today, more than ever, many of us project a bloated pride for being part of a generation that has produced the information superhighway in the evolution of the information age.  Information technology involving the development, maintenance and use of computer systems, software and networks for the processing and distribution of data made it much quicker and easier to pass or retrieve information from the remotest sources of the earth.  Pressing numbers on a cell phone or dialing numbers on a land line takes only seconds to be connected to someone too far and yet too near.  The wonders of modern technology made a big world look smaller as it conquered time and distance.  The machine to machine flow of information hastily dehumanized us but brought sources of information at the tip our fingers.  Brevity in tweeting and Internet communication minimized the value of human interaction and the human touch and the depth of face-to-face conversation.  Orbiting satellites diffuse information as fast as the wink of an eye and with abundance of information our lives have become an open book.

We could not discount the value of convenience without discounting the value of information in the choices we make, the actions we take and the decisions we render.  Abundance of information brought more confusion than clarity for many of us trust the message but distrust the messenger.  Abundance of information beclouded the truth, blurred the facts and buried the evidence which are the most valuable pieces of information we need in making the right choices, the right decisions and taking the correct course of action.  The confusion comes when making fiction appear as fact, it comes in believing allegation as evidence and arises in the cross-pollination of truths and lies.  Confusion evolves when the stewards of our trust and apostles of truth cohabit politics in religion and commingle religion in politics.  It is good to be well-informed and there is nothing wrong in knowing more and more about less and less.  Knowledge is power but too much power flirts with blinding light.  Excess in eating is gluttony and surplus of information is what diarrhea in marketing is all about.

The danger with abundance of information escalated with freedom of information and the right of free speech.  Our lives have become pieces of public property with personal information furtively traded, bought, sold and even stolen as if it were a part of a business inventory seeking potential customers on a mailing list.  We receive a good haulage of mail from sources we don't know as if one piece of information leads to the other.  There is abundance of information on every subject, topic and calling, and yet we are witnessing the nightmares of progressive retrogression in our day-to-day interaction.  The information age, information technology and information superhighway cleared the twilight zones.  They earned our comforts in a crystal ball and yet we don't stop looking at each other through colored glasses.  One reason for this syndrome is because the information at our disposal has no pawnshop qualities.  A dwarf standing upon the shoulders of a giant may see further than the giant himself which simply means that information is more visible than truth.

There is a contagious perception that over-exercise of the right of free speech kept watering down freedom from want.  This dreadful trend is the tipping point of make-believe.  Information derived from free speech is not a substitute for bread and butter.  Free speech is a right bulldozed by abuse for it is more of a franchise to spread lies rather then a duty to reveal the truth that is censored by cover-up.  There is hardly any information that is cleansed of lies and free of deception.  Surplus of information translates into shortage of truth.  The sources of information derived from the words we hear and the words we read are cryptically sugar-coated by an aroma of bias and scornful prejudice.  Comprehensive information made things incomprehensible for too many cooks destroy the recipe.  This incoherent situation is so impaling to stigmatize our ability to distinguish the difference between fact and fiction and separate the chaff from the grain.

Abundance of information made it impossible for print and broadcast to contain everything that is said and done.  The channels of communication are clogged with the sundry tell-tales of people from all walks of life.  Information drawn from sights and sounds encircle the globe.  So much of the information is recycled in the processing centers of our mouths where the format of information is anyone's game.  Nothing in life is more tortuously abundant than the indiscriminate use of words from A to Z which are as countless as the raindrops in the ocean.  Nothing is more outpouring than verbal activity where vocabulary made it possible to view a molehill as a mountain.  If we could only record everyone in the world talking at a given moment, abundance of information would exceed our expectations.  Every fabric of mind, every fragment of thought, every particle on earth and every pebble on the moon is made visible by the abundance of information.

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