You have access to much more information but understand less

You have access to much more information but understand lessI know from my personal perspective I probably read more now that I did before the internet. But is the quality of what I read any better, probably not.

I don't want this commentary to become an argument over politics, but the current political campaigns are good example of how the internet "news" has become as much noise as it news. It has created a new sense of reality.

The name calling and childish behavior by supporters of both candidates is amazing. It does not matter which candidate you say you support, someone will call you a childish name for supporting them. "Why are all the (insert name of the candidate you hate here) supporters so (insert negative attribute of person here)."

I dislike the mainstream news articles that allow comments. Every news event becomes a political debate. It always seems to turn into a matter of how the victim could be so stupid, they must be a (member of whatever political party you hate).

The above three paragraphs were the introduction to my answer on an online forum of the question, "What effect has the internet had on what it means to be an informed citizen?" I concluded the answer with my analogy of the internet as a mirror.

The internet is a collection of wires, silicon, and copper, it has no soul, it has no mind of its own. The internet doesn't take sides, it gives birth to both good and evil. The internet is our collective mind, it is our collective soul. The internet is just a mirror, a reflection of the people who use it, and together we have the responsibility to focus and form that reflection.

If you don't like what you see when you look into a mirror, what do you do? Some people break the mirror, others change what's being reflected.

Do all Canadians think Americans are out of touch with the world?

Questy Roadtrips to Canada 2001 Ontario and 2002 PEII read the following statement in an outline forum last week, "As a Canadian, I often feel that Americans are out of touch with the world around them." It was stuck in my head all weekend long.

My daughter was with me the weekend and I asked her about a family roadtrip we took to Canada in 2002, and she immediately recalled the same incident I was thinking about. One exchange with a Canadian that stands out in my mind.  We were at a Canadian historic site and the volunteer said she was a school teacher. She asked my children were they local to the area, and where did they go to school. They replied, "we don't live around here, we live in Delaware."  Her reply was, "Is that in North Carolina?"

Living on the east coast of the United States, we have been to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., many times. As a family I took my kids on one roadtrip where we visited Ottawa and Toronto, and another where we visited the North Atlantic, driving through New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.

While in Canada I compared historic sites and their significance to Canadian government, to similar places in the United States.  While we in Ottawa we visited the Canadian Parliament. While in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, we visited the historic sites of the Canadian Articles of Confederation.

An online exchange with an angry Canadian

I vividly recall an online conversation with a Canadian in 2004 where the question was asked, "Are you aware that 85% of Canadians think that the US is partly or fully responsible for the 9/11 incident? What can you say in your defense?"

I asked for a reference to a specific poll that supports the claim, but never saw one. Another statement was made during the conversation, " Are you aware that a recent public opinion poll in Europe has named US and Israel the main threats to world peace."

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