Two shots of espresso happened this morning without much fanfare. Outside it is snowing like the winter season is now in full swing. Temperatures outside dropped about 40 degrees between last night and this morning. Something about that just seems jarring. I was going to have an “and” after the word “jarring” in the last sentence, but celebrating that point was unnecessary. Things are getting going and that writing thing is starting to happen. Now is the time for great waves of productivity. We are staring at so much change that just keeping up requires way more focus and dedication than ever before.
My thoughts have been really focused on where all the attention is today. People are writing and trying to explain the world. If you take a step back and think about the totality of knowledge we have collected sometimes explained as all the publications accepted by the academic world, then it might become apparent that the pace of change has outpaced our ability to consume it. Right now out in the world out attention is super dispersed nothing really is capable of catching the entire public mind. That is a problem in the macro sense of how we consume knowledge and work together as a society to get things done. In the very micro sense of just a specific field of academic inquiry it is getting harder and harder to consume all publications. That is essentially the problem facing us as we move forward. If you cannot curate the knowledge being built in an academic discipline, then how do we curate the greater stream of knowledge to help people keep pace with change.
That being said. It is really important to absorb that argument. Dilution is occurring as the pace of present knowledge creation increases. I’m willing to accept that argument. A consequence of that argument is that civil society as a whole has become more fragmented as our understanding separates from our shared foundation of knowledge. We used to have a reasonable shared understanding that was used to describe the public mind and how we relate to each other. That shared understanding in my humble view is breaking down at an increasingly problematic pace. Perhaps this argument deserves a better presentation or something more than what has been provided. I’ll try to do better later. Maybe that is the crux of the problem we are facing.