Questionable content, possibly linked

Information should be ‘dangerous’ (sometimes)

One thing I see a lot of lately is this idea that some information is fundamentally dangerous. I don’t have this all worked out yet, but wanted to challenge that base assumption, by unpacking a little what danger constitutes in relation to information.

“Dangerous” information would presumably be information that threatens some established conception of order. Let’s put aside for a moment which order is threatened by which information (and whether that order or that information is “legitimate), and try to understand the nature of a threat in this context…

With regards to information, it seems that a threat here might constitute a challenge or request to *change* a given conception of order. Depending on the circumstance, that may or may not be warranted or a wholly “good thing.” But danger is something that causes things to change: we need to run away to escape danger, or we need to actively neutralize the danger and contain the risk.

Is it possible then to have change in information systems without “dangerous” information that challenges a given order? Maybe. But that seems like it might be “boring” in many contexts (though “dangerous” information will always be unwelcome in some settings that require or at least heavily favor stability).

Will give this more thought and add on as I go, now that I’ve established a beach head here…


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1 Comment

  1. Tim B.

    in the context of this quote:

    “In short, people might develop a broad suspicion that the images and text we encounter online are completely unverifiable.”

    I’ve argued there are settings wherein the crumbling of the perceived authority of some sources may actually be beneficial, because it frees up space for the establishment of new layers of order, which have better evolved to suit the current environment

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