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LETTER: Truth is the loser in the computer age

The year about to be born is fittingly numbered “20-20.”

It suggests perfect vision, and we sure as heck need that — in every literal and figurative sense of the phrase.
As it will be necessary to discard some major errors of governments from the last thousand years, the only body presently constituted to discuss any global issues is the United Nations. But, generally speaking, most people are aware — whether we be conservative, liberal, democrat or plutocrat, religious or sectarian, educated or “wisely endowed” with native intelligence — that our course of action must change, now and forever.
We ought to begin by restoring the crafts and industries which do not damage the planet: building with renewable materials, for example.

The use of stone if already available in blocks should be reserved for bridges and large public buildings, and fortifying areas in danger of collapse from earth tremors, floods, etc.
Forests should no longer be harvested for palm oil and other such products as the diversity of a natural landscape will be the biological trust foundation of a surviving planet.
Crafts of all traditional types should be respected and taught to youth from an early age. We did our species no good service by developing social media when we began to rely on computer technology.

Nevertheless, advances in engineering in medicine, space travel, and construction have often increased the quality of our lives; for instance, artificial limbs and replacements of organs, drones to observe hazards and wonders from a safer distance, and 3D printing of objects which can considerably reduce costs in manufacturing (while increasing the risks of improper use by criminal entities).
When my family and I arrived in Newfoundland in 1978 most adult livyers could, and had, built their houses and fishing sheds and schools and boats, and hunted and fished for the protein they consumed, while berrypicking and planting root vegetables were the norm for most families.

Education was selectively developed for less self-sufficient societies was importee, but no great advances came with the invasion of “no grammar”, “no cursive writing” “no lessons in logic and rhetoric” and “no school teams debating” questions such as: is morality inherent or taught? What is truth? How free should a free press be?
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Let’s revive learning about the past, analyze and discuss without jargon and pomposity, the grave errors our species has made and continues to make. Let’s study the printed wealth of our good libraries.

We can learn too little from the flickering images on our cellphones and computers, which are tied to business interests … too focussed on profit rather than facts. It’s been far too easy to edit out important information and rework the edited results.

Truth is the loser in the computer age.

Judy Gibson,
St. John’s

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