Monday, August 30, 2010

Media and Knowledge

Since this blog is all about media and knowledge, it seems only fair we examine that source of all information -- wikipedia -- to see what it has to say on the subject.
  • Media: This wikipedia article is a big category and, as such, has a lot of subcategories. Indeed, there isn't a basic definition offered.  Think about it.  There's everything from advertising media to social media and several others that fall between A and S.  Nothing beyond this, no Yak Media or Zebra Media.  So I followed Mass Media and learned it's media designed to reach a large audience.  Fair enough.
  • Knowledge -- Interesting, but the wikipedia article about knowledge begins with an old media technology, the Oxford Dictionary, to define it.  Basically, knowledge is expertise and skills learned through experience and education, especially facts and information.
I'm a big fan of Wikipedia.  After all, I'm even mentioned (here, but scroll down a bit to the Political Polls section).  From above, we can't take a lot from media and knowledge.  If you try to search for "political knowledge" you get bounced to "political philosophy."  Read that and you pick up bits and pieces of how knowledge fits into various political philosophies.  For example:
For Locke, knowledge is neither innate, revealed nor based on authority but subject to uncertainty tempered by reason, tolerance and moderation. According to Locke, an absolute ruler as proposed by Hobbes is unnecessary, for natural law is based on reason and equality, seeking peace and survival for man.
Reason, tolerance, and moderation are concepts rarely demonstrated in today's media environment, especially on cable TV.  Philosophers have long wrestled with how knowledge and a just society fit together, but again we don't see a lot of that today outside of philosophy classes.  I'm sure Glenn Beck will get to it soon.

Other than an exercise in filling blogspace, there's not a lot we can learn from wikipedia's offering.  Which means someone needs to get cracking.  Maybe I'll create an entry there on political philosophy and blog about it here.  Might be an interesting experience.

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