Monday’s class discussion about the democratization of knowledge was quite interesting. When Professor Proctor stated that the highest rated review on something is usually a negative one, it really spoke to me. Personally, when I am shopping around for something, whatever it may be, I like to sort the product results by highest-rated first and then read any reviews people post on the product. Because I have my results listed in order of ratings, I tend to pay more attention on the negative reviews; I know what good things to expect from the product and I want to be aware of the bad in case I do decide to purchase it. Granted not everyone has the same opinion, but reading through reviews gives me a generalization of what the product offers. If I am not impressed by reviews or do not find any at all on the website, I’ll even look it up on YouTube. By seeing the product in a video, it allows me to see it come to life and judge for myself if I will like it or not.
Coincidentally, over the weekend I saw the movie Enough Said, which stars Julia Louis- Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini. Julia’s character, Eva, meets James’ character, Albert, at a party. Both Eva and Albert have been in previous marriages. At the same party, Eva meets Marianne, a poet and they become friends. When Eva and Marianne talk, Eva tells Marianne about the guy she met at the party and the dates they go on- she never tells her his name. Marianne would tell Eva about her ex-husband; all the things about him that threw her off and made her no longer attracted to him. Eva secretly finds out Marianne’s ex-husband is Albert and while she does like him, she cannot help but listen to what Marianne has to say about him. She was once married and does not want to go down the road of divorce filled with heartache and disappointment again. She protects herself by listening to the “warning signs” Marianne provides about Albert. Subconsciously, Eva lets her friend’s words get to her and ultimately conflict her relationship with Albert.
I believe knowledge is powerful and we are all entitled to sharing and absorbing it. Being aware of information is not dangerous, what we do with it determines whether or not it is. With today’s modern technology, information of all sorts is at our fingertips. It is much easier to obtain knowledge whether from books or online sources and media. That being said, I do not think the democratization of knowledge undermines true knowledge/ wisdom; if anything, I think it strengthens it.