Opinion: Stupid and evil

Commentary by Terry Anker

One wonders if Gutenberg and his contemporaries imagined the impact that their printing press might have on the world – namely, it freed the flow of information in a game-changing way. More people could claim a voice; and, more people could hear it. Certainly, there must have been some discussion as the stylish folk of 1439 peered over the craft ale they were sampling from their distinctive lead tankards from the new maker’s space around the corner. What does it all mean? What will this new “social” media bring us?

So now that we are collectively 600 years older and wiser, what have we learned? The newest “social” media allows for an even more liberal movement of information than did Mr. G’s original device. Even as we contemplate the changes afoot in the order of things now that the New York Times has fewer readers than Kylie Jenner, those changes are marching on. Articulate and profane alike, we all have a voice. Unvarnished and unmitigated, we can all be heard!

In a symphony of ever increasing cacophony, should we raise our voices even louder to ensure that WE ARE HEARD ABOVE THE RABBLE. OUR VOICE MATTERS! LISTEN TO ME! Guttenberg printed what he believed to be the most important ideas – and hoped to share them widely. In a quick survey of modern social media, it seems that one is more likely confronted with hate and bigotry than with the advancing of affirmative ideas. “You are stupid! Your candidate is stupid. This recipe is stupid. You must be too stupid to see how stupid you are! We’re only saying you’re stupid to be nice – we really think you are stupid AND evil.”

In a world where everyone is in the ring, is it possible to imagine that most hits will be above the belt?