The Chains of Infomania

Karl Marx had taught that all that is solid will melt in the air. This words seem to have come true. Today all that is solid melts into information. With digitization of everything, we have dedistanstiation of self and the other. It is this gaplessness that leads to expulsion of the otherness of the other and the other is reduced to consumable difference to be consumed by the narcissistic self of neoliberalism. Fueled by digital connectivity, the self is turned inwards and is made ready to consume digitized other. Hence, we may have hesitatingly agreed that all social media is anti-social. Leading to the disintegration of community through connected isolation. Informatization of everything has led to the narcissistification of the self. With digitization of everything, everything has become the echo chamber of the self. There are no symbols that bind us and generate thought. Symbols are dying while idols are rising. All we have is information fatigued atomized self that itself has be come data for it’s own exploitation.

Information does not hold together into a narrative. It is left to the self or vested interest of the propagandist ilk to assemble narratives that are far from reality. Truth is centripetal and keeps the society together. Information is centrifugal and is an isolative force . Information is simply additive. Information at some point ceases to inform and begins to deform. Fake news is an important aspect of information order. Fake news is just another bit of information. It moves past truth . By the time, we run to verify it, it has already done its damage. It is difficult when falsehood and truth seem to seamlessly mingle . Information, then, become truth-proof . Information levels down the difference between the real and the fake. Information order converts everything to sameness. With the death of narrative, all that we have boundless information. Therefore, there is no room for otherness in the order of information. Otherness can only exist almost as a consumable difference.

Without community bonds, democracy cannot truly exist. Our democracy is fast melting into infocracy. The narrative vacuum of the information order does not sustain the public sphere. It just opens another widow where we enjoy the echo of our voice. There is no other voice. Every other, therefore, is just a bit of information. Hence, other becomes a consumable difference that can be devoured by us. This is so because the other just becomes the reflection of the self. The negativity of the other is tamed by transforming it into same. Thus, we are left with violence of passivity that drains out the subject of the achievement society who then is left being tired of being himself or herself and, therefore, is exhausted and is on the slope of depression.

There are several ways we can resist this elimination of the other. One of the most important way is embracing of what I call critical listening. Critical listening comes form accepting the idiocy of Socrates. Socrates did not know a lot of things but he knew that he did not know. We need this awareness of our ignorance. This will enable us to listen with a critical stance. It is an atitude that has the amplitude of hermeneutics of suspicion mixed with hermeneutics of trust . We have to get over the infomania that has take us away from things to digital non-things. We seem to be happily living in Plato’s world of copies and have become infomaniacs. This is why we need to return to real things once again . To do this, we need to listen to real persons and real things to set ourselves free from infomania.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao