How Information Changes Over Time

Information changes over time. I got in the drinking business when I was fifteen years old. Yep, I worked as bartender at that time.

This was before, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers) came about in 1980. That was the organization that really got the drunk driving laws going in this country. Prior to that time, people just got as drunk as they wanted and drove home. No one thought about it much.

“Alcoholism” was not widely known or recognized as a “disease” back then.  Instead, drinking was said to “kill your brain cells”.  I don’t think people talk about this facet of heavy drinking anymore. You might hear about drinking yourself to death. That’s different than drinking yourself to stupidity.

I got thinking about this because of the second-generation funeral director who said that in his father’s day, they buried people and burned trash. These days, he said, we bury garbage and have crematoria. It does get your attention. (See my post – The Death Business)

I don’t know that we’re progressing, intellectually, on a variety of topics. It’s seems more as if we’re choosing to look at different parts of the same whole.

Internet search has become less valuable over time. More often than not, I search something and google returns twenty links to the same content on different sites.  If I’m not satisfied with this; if I don’t feel I’ve learned anything, too bad!

This seems a good topic for today, with the Moon in Gemini and ruler of information (Mercury), exactly conjunct Neptune in Pisces. Crisp, useful, factual information is obscured. Drunk (Neptune) brain (Mercury).

Can you think of an example of information that has changed over time?
Generally speaking, do you think we are improving or degrading, intellectually at this time?

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How Information Changes Over Time — 14 Comments

  1. Generally speaking, I think the quality of instructional information has improved massively. I’ve read more different books and articles on astrology, running, self-help, psychology, spiritually over the past 5-10 years than were ever available before and think they’re more useful than ever. But perhaps that’s just me building on previous learning and having a Pluto in 9H transit.

    I’d say the problem is that there is now so much (Sag) information (Gemini) available but most people don’t have the critical thinking (Virgo) skills to know what to listen to, and what to ignore. They end up getting confused (Pisces).

  2. The amount of information available is amazing, which includes our ability to tap into other peoples experiences with everything from appliances to drugs. The Western world, at least, is declining in intelligence. A recent study of Iceland finds an average of losing 3 IQ points per century, and it’s at least that great in the USA, based on test scores.Yet, because of the large population, there are still a lot of really smart people holding things together, and exploring new areas of thought and spirituality….It’s probably a cycle.

  3. I think intellectually we’re degrading, for two reasons. The powers that are well seated have a vested interest in controlling the information that reaches and is available to the little people. Also, huge segments of the population have an overwhelming case of cognitive dissonance, and refuse to even attempt to see any other point of view on many different subjects.

  4. Hmm wow, that is interesting about drinking and how concepts have morphed. As for whether we are progressing? ….

    I might be an unpopular opinion here. Oh well sigh. We are progressing on some fronts, forgetting others, and just reframing some ignorance of the past with new poison. For example, we have more access to more perspectives online, so people who are/identify as LGBTQ back in the day would feel alone, but now they have a group to turn to. Personally, I think that part is a good thing. Then again, the fear and some dehumanizations are still happening for many, but subverted into unspoken actions in our everyday world. Some people say it is just policing what we say, and determining certain actions, but it doesn’t create an open experience to learn why certain things are important on a person-to-person level. Maybe that’s why laws come to exist, when many people don’t want to and can’t learn a different way to do things? (e.g. MADD & drunk driving laws)… Secondly, the anger has also turned organized, with groups organizing onto the national stage (Uranus in Aries) on both sides.

    It comes in waves. Mergings and separations within humanity. I come from an international city… an American international city. Of course I’m biased. This is how I grew up and I’ve seen the benefit to my life to be more open. I guess I also get it that if no one has ever met a person of a certain background personally, they won’t know why acting a certain way is hurtful: hurtful for others, yes…. but also themselves. There are so many stories we haven’t heard. The more people you meet, the more you realize….People become human up-close. When you humanize others you thought as “enemies”, dare I say, love them as neighbors, you humanize yourself. You tap into a deep-seated love and compassion that make us more in touch with the pain of others, and more understanding of our own imperfections. It is then we take responsibility for our own destructive actions. We begin to understand where others’ destructive actions come from, too.

    This is where I think good things are being forgotten. We’re all angry. Pissed off individuals in survival mode. Action is good. I get it. But all-out destruction? No. Maybe this is my 12th house Aries talking, but what is being forgotten is how to talk about these issues in a way where we don’t just label others as Bad People. And that’s it. No discussion. No teaching. No other perspectives. Just… I don’t get you, so, you are bad and go away. Just reminds me of Elsa’s post on forgiveness of people’s imperfections a few months ago… We are all imperfect and only have two eyes, one perspective. Only with more people is there a 360 degree perspective. Also, we’re all online now, and the inherent distance that installs in our lives, makes it so easy to say things we used to keep to ourselves, anonymously-good and bad. It seems to have given people permission to yell into their own internet “echo chambers”, only reading things that will support that they are right, creating more dogmatism, assuming another person will agree with their opinion, before considering another perspective that is also very human, before attacking.

    So, anyway, weird thing is I’m yelling into my own echo chamber right now hahahaha! Okay, I will stop. Just hoping for more love and less hate in this world. That’s all… I don’t know if that’s progress, but it’s what we need to function in this world.

  5. Well, I know the narrative around nutrition changes with head-spinning frequency. Coconut oil used to be considered “bad” by the medical community back in 80’s and now it’s considered a miracle food with people worshipping at its shrine. We’re one day touting the benefits of such and such exotic whatever and then within a year or two or 10, discrediting it. Remember when people drank raw eggs and now, people are advised against eating raw cookie dough due to e-coli? Or the swing from high-fat low carb diets (Atkins) to low-fat high carb diets? Or when doctors recommended smoking for its health benefits to now it’s almost entirely banned? It’s like if we overdose on one thing, we immediately shift to the next opposite extreme? It’s not a progression nor an evolution but a cyclical thing. Our cells are round. The earth is round. The sun is round. Our behaviors are round. We’re bound to repeat things over time if there’s no constant, conscious redirection.

    • Thanks! That’s a great example. Drink a glass of wine…don’t drink a glass of wine.

      Everyone has the *mental illness / impairment” of the 7 year period…followed by, oh never mind. That’s out of vogue now.

  6. We’re becoming more robotic; it’s terrible. We value technology and artistry is a dying art form. I feel there’s full industries in the humanities to be discovered that would improve the world and our quality of life as a civilization but we’re too stupefied by the blur. I think eventually even scripts for films will be a page long and a line long scene. I feel like songs will be 15 seconds long and too bad we’re losing our attention span. No one will care for poetry or themes in design because no one will care to read between the lines.

    We will serve the all mighty dollar and care less about people.

    -Pepe

  7. Scientific studies often contradict one another because often a single study is not enough to get any real idea of the bigger more complex picture of any subject. Or there are flaws and unseen angles. But rather than being able to piece together a coherent picture (something that’s hard or maybe even impossible depending on scope) we’re left with headlines about this or that specific study. Or, increasingly people cherry pick and choose what they want to hear. So says the loud Sagittarius moon.

    I don’t think we’re actually getting dumber, but sometimes people forget or are never even taught useful skills for living and being a person.

    • Well said Beth. Running is my sport and I don’t bother with studies any more because they are so contradictory and short-term and because there is a huge focus on specific measurables that have nothing to do with improving running times. There is so much emphasis on HIIT in the fitness industry which does indeed get quick results but I’m not convinced is healthy or longterm sustainable for the individual.

      What you also don’t necessarily see in the headlines of studies is what groups the studies were actually carried out on and therefore whether it could apply to you. If I read a study carried out on a group of 20 year old college students, or one carried out on women aged 55-60 who were complete beginners – none of the findings is necessarily relevant to me.

      The Pluto in Sag era changed universities from places of learning to just another business. Universities are focused on getting as many papers published as possible because that is one of the measures that elevates their status. Twenty years ago my degree had a huge focus on critical analysis of research but now they’re more about job skills than that.

  8. Yes I agree. The long view is not being acknowledged by the masses. That’s the difference between intelligence and wisdom. So what if we have information if we aren’t going to use it to make the world a better place? That’s where I see the gap. The powers that be have a lot invested in keeping people dumb. And oddly enough they are using information as a distraction. They are trying to feed us junk food for the soul. There is a dark entity on this earth (not from the earth, it rapes the earth really), that will only survive if people are kept dumb and asleep and they do that by giving us a bunch of information to sift through.

  9. Everything is simultaneously good and bad. Being different is good and should be celebrated and acknowledged but at the same time you need a diagnosis and need to be medicated. Everything is healthy and unhealthy. Everything is useful and useless. Everything is polarised.

    Intellect is perhaps in decline but spirituality on the uprise. Damn I’d love to see what would read in history textbooks about our era.

  10. So great that I’m not the only one, who realized that Google has extremely degenerated. It became almost unusable as a search engine and other search engines aren’t much better. (I use startpage.com and when it is important that the results aren’t filtered, then duckduckgo.com) There was a peak when information was accessed as easily as never before around the year 2000. That’s true so far. But people must be very slow in realizing if they didn’t get yet that this peak is over. The beginning of the end came with SEO, good SEO from Google’s perspective, which worked together with search engines and followed Google’s suggestions, and bad SEO, which tried to trick search engines. The web got more commercial and decayed.
    .
    It’s not so much that our perspective changes. Although there are cycles in everything. It’s rather that Pluto is no longer in Sagittarius, but in Capricorn. A strive for knowledge and understanding was replaced with a strive for surveillance.

  11. weak algorithms that only chop off the top of the iceberg and with little eye to significance. just popularity. correlations, whether or not they’re relevant

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