All my life I have been fascinated with that thing I now call 'scientific animism'. It is, literally, taking the scientific process for granted and accepting that our 'betters' are doing things in our best interest without hesitation. The classic example I have been using is the matter of transferrance which is the process by which humans essentially judge a book by its cover. If the label on the cereal box says you are getting 100% of your Vitamin A, you believe that the cereal inside the box actually does contain Vitamin A, and that it's good for you even though you yourself cannot prove that such a thing as Vitamin A exists, and you don't know exactly what it does in the human body.
There is no perfect knowledge, but the fragmented sets of knowledge we live with are surprisingly incomplete.
My kids got pertussis shots last month. Pertussis is Whooping Cough. I've never even seen a video of somebody with it. We all know the first clue that somebody is off their nut when they start suggesting that government immunization is all part of a plot to enslave us. But to a certain degree, that degree by which we are truly ignorant of the workings of the things that make up our world, we are enslaved. So it has always been a difficult challenge for me to consider what degree I should know things I have proven for myself and trust things I take from others on faith.
I do not use algebra in real life. I use logic. It happens to be one of my strengths - so much so that Aaron Hawkins used to call me Tuvak. Or was that Evil Tuvak. It was a while ago, admittedly. The miracle of our urban aggregations is that a person can use something like logic, with little else, and provide a comfortable living for themselves. Whereas logic on a desert island might just drive one mad. It doesn't have to be logic. Of course it could be personal intuition, or the ability to play guitar, or bake spectacular desserts. The point is that you can trade on that single skill and use your relative position in society to take some time out and figure out the natural order of things.
People talk as if getting away from a computer or the internet is, in and of itself, a healthy thing. You'll hear that fashionable statement become more taken for granted as truth. The great irony is if one actually understood more about what the internet is good for, you'd not take such fashionable statements as truth or 'science'. Figuring out the natural order of things is one of those things the internet is actually very good for - provided you have some discernment.
All this is about leverage. You simply need to know how to turn your radio on and off. Then you can talk about what the talk radio talkers talk about without understanding the first thing about how radios work. It's fascinating and dreadful at the same time.
Here's my question. Does society advance when it delivers extraordinary goods to relatively stupid people? If so which society is best? Is that based upon the quality of the goods delivered or the relative ease with which people in that society can take advantage?