Pardon the interruption

I’ve been out of the country in Asia for the past couple of weeks. Part of the time was in Shanghai, China where I was hoping to get some time and catch up on some blogging. However, that plan was quickly changed when I found that all social media tools are blocked in China. Name it: facebook, twitter, wordpress, all b-l-o-c-k-e-d. It’s no secret as why either. Take one look at the revolutions in Egypt, Syria, and Yemen all started and are fueled by social media. In a Chinese culture where stability is the #1 priority, personal liberty and self expression takes a back seat.

This got me thinking about the contrasts between a country like China and the USA. The contrasts are stark but the problems largely the same. In China you are fed very carefully a stream of information. In the USA you have open access to any information. However, in the USA there is a hidden fallacy that open access of information equals truth. The problem is the same between the two countries: control of your point of view through manipulation of what you read, see, and hear. The means are as opposite as humanly possible. The conclusion is the same: culture is not a friend of truth.

And I was reminded of the words of Solomon:

“To the youth knowledge and discretion”   Proverbs 1:4

and I recognized why the two, knowledge and discretion, are linked. Knowledge enables one to see a good use or an evil or unwise use of the facts. Discretion is the practice of judgment to use that knowledge effectively. A simple example, knowledge of accounting can give a manager insight into his businesses finances and evaluate its performance (good) or it can be used as insight on how to conduct embezzlement without detection (evil). It is discretion that stands at the crossroad of the two choices.

Life has us make choices, constantly. Culture would have me believe a particular outcome is the best one, but “best” for who or to what end? Just asking the question I find is a giant leap towards seeing the real truth of a matter.