Plugged in an age of information - Photo by Judit Klein - CC BY-ND 2.0

Top moderator Justin Webb on the age of information (saturation)

Raleigh Addington
Raleigh Addington
editor at Chartwell Speakers

Justin WebbWriting for The Times, Justin Webb, one of the BBC’s leading broadcasters and moderators, discusses how Americans “no longer want to listen to the other guy’s view” in the age of information.

Using recent protests surrounding commencement speeches as an example (95 protests against planned speeches have taken place on US campuses since 2009, resulting in 39 withdrawals), Justin argues that there seems to be a closing of the mind in America. “The internet was supposed to open people’s minds”, he notes, “yet it’s having exactly the opposite effect.”

Justin believes that this is because “Americans have become attuned to assimilating information via web sites. In other words they find what they want to find when they want to find it and are shocked, even repelled, when some contrary piece of knowledge is directed at them and — horror of horrors — they have to sit quietly and listen to it.”

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