Sorting it out—the one fact that really matters

The technology of the twentieth century has brought a flood: we're inundated by facts. Newspapers and magazines, radio, television, books, seminars, special commission reports, and on and on, spew out one "important" item after another. Some of the facts we learn are of course genuinely necessary and useful. Some are hopeful and encouraging, even illuminating. But some are virtually useless, or depressing, and at times deadening to one's expectations of progress.

Realistically, a reasonable grasp of the information available to us should help us to function properly and successfully in society and to contribute something meaningful toward meeting the challenges humanity faces. Yet there is little question that no matter how much human knowledge people are able to acquire or how much information can be stored on floppy disks, there continue to be solutions and answers that elude mankind. When a famine affects the lives of millions, when an economy or a government appears on the brink of collapse, or when a disease seems to threaten one's own existence, all the human "facts" the world has to offer may not be sufficient to meet the challenge.

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What your life can mean to others
August 12, 1985
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