Quote of the Year – Eco and the “invasion of idiots” on social media

HT Drew Mac via FB for the Cartoon because if he has posted something without 48 hours, you must HT him even if he doesn't actually own it.

“I social media danno diritto di parola a legioni di imbecilli che prima parlavano solo al bar dopo un bicchiere di vino, senza danneggiare la collettività. Venivano subito messi a tacere, mentre ora hanno lo stesso diritto di parola di un Premio Nobel. È l’invasione degli imbecilli.” ~Umberto Eco

“Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community. Then they were quickly silenced, but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It’s the invasion of the idiots.”  (translation via TB on FB)

He goes on…

The drama of the Internet is that it has promoted the village idiot to the bearer of truth …

From here.

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5 Replies to “Quote of the Year – Eco and the “invasion of idiots” on social media”

  1. At the same time, the internet has opened up a world of information — and, granted, misinformation — to people otherwise likely excluded from that flow of diversity otherwise known as the marketplace of ideas.

    Moreover, history has clearly shown that those presenting themselves as repositories of all knowledge and founts of wisdom have eventually been proven to have vastly overstated their case. This can be particularly true in when, as was the case with Aristotelian physics, an entire body of supposed knowledge is based on sometimes difficult to disprove speculative theory.

    Most certainly, at least since the days of Galileo Galilei and his modest 3X magnification telescope, defenders of biblical literalism have had their hands full defending their brand of cosmology. In fact, it is perhaps not too great an exaggeration to suggest that where science has set is foot over time, religion has had to move its hand.

    Besides, being misled — even being wrong — is part of life.

    Much to my utter consternation, the world turned out to be very different place that I perceived it at the ripe old age of 18. Yet, only a couple of years later I came to realize that I had been methodically and systematically lied to by virtually every authority figure in my life!

    While some did it out of ignorance — and occasional stupidity — the vast majority perpetrated their fraud for little more than money and status. In other words, they were merely doing what someone had hired them to do!

    In reality, they had done little more than sell their souls.

    To be sure, while charlatans, frauds, and liars abound on the internet, there are no other areas in this life where they do not likewise exist as well. Let’s face it, without chancery, capitalism would cease to exist!

    Besides, most of the propagandist pablum fed to American school children — in a scheme borrowed from 18th century Prussia — is fraudulent. So, too, is the pulpiteering profudyism (yes, I just made up the word) shouted each Sunday in churches across the land.

    So, if falsities abound, why the so much concern over the internet? Because, in all the manure, there are a few grains of truth that threaten the entire status quo.

    Much as Xerox-type copy machines proved more than a match for the former Soviet Union’s puppet masters and the nightly news brought the horrors of Nam into America’s living rooms each evening, the internet is overwhelming Washington’s capacity to pacify the masses with carefully orchestrated misinformation.

    The internet is simply to big a threat to America’s soul sellers to be allow to proceed unfettered by capitalist chains. As they have done to the democracy of the ballot box, they will do to information on the internet.

    In fact, it is not too far beyond the realm of possibility that, behind the scenes, some deep pockets are fostering the chaos in order to justify either marketplace control or campaign-financed government intervention.

    And, yes, politicians are rented by deep pockets much like johns rent hookers! The principal difference is that politicians are rented by the term instead of by the hour. Nevertheless, both turn tricks in exchange for cash.

    1. Excellent commentary. I imagine people like Eco are threatened by the idea that the collective intelligences of the masses would no longer prostrate themselves to the small and ruthless elitist cadre of self-congratulatory and self-perpetuating intellectuists (yes, also made up word – different than an actual intellectual) who consider themselves far “more worthy than the chattel of the populace” (actual quote).

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