For decades, pretentious wonks have declared that we live in “The Information Age,” as if information were a commodity unique to our time. Inanity aside, the claim is patently false, notwithstanding the advent of computers and virtually instant communication.
We do not live in an “Information Age” because “information” connotes data that is beneficial and objectively valid. Information can help solve problems, educate, and generally improve life. This was true of written language, movable type, the radio and the telephone, but look around today—do you see problems being solved, people becoming smarter, or life getting better? I thought not.
A more accurate expression for our time is “The Disinformation Age.” Though it is also not unique to our time, it at least captures the pervasive abuse of information that has made our society the opposite of an “informed” rational society: dissent is a subversive act; citizens are enemies of the state; the media conceal evidence; and the police enforce police-state edicts.