Analysis of “the Sleep of Reason”

Topics: World Wide Web, Web 2.0, Credibility Pages: 3 (921 words) Published: December 10, 2012
Analysis of “The Sleep of Reason”
The “Sleep of Reason” by Michael Gorman is an article that proposes that the internet is a resource that people use often to obtain false information. Gorman “has worked in libraries in the United States and Britain.” (Gorman 422-427) He was also a teacher at many library schools. He believes that researched information needs to be from a credible source in order for you to be absolutely sure that it is plausible. Although this article is focused on the positive outcome of all people, it does not prove that Web 2.0 is indeed hindering our intellectual progression. Gorman once stated that the "often-anarchic world of the Internet" is saturating our culture with a "tide of credulity and misinformation" (“Michael Gorman vs. Web 2.0”)

“The Sleep of Reason” starts out discussing how many people in the United States believe that “every word in the Bible is both true and the literal word of God”. (Gorman 422-427) This idea is referred to as “Bible inerrancy”. He compares the fact that some people believe the bible is all true to how some people might believe anything the read or research on the internet to be complete fact. In Gorman’s eyes, every article should be published by a reputable publisher as well as cited for authentic information.

Gorman believes that humans learn in two main ways. The first is from experienced people that know more about a subject than you do; while the other is from personal contacts, books, or teachers that have an acclaimed status. Web 2.0 is a threat to old research ways, because the old ways “depended on the authenticity of the connection of sources”, while the new Web 2.0 way does not. With Web 2.0 anyone can write an article for the world to read. “Everyone is an expert in a world devoid of expertise.” (Gorman 422-427) It does not matter if the information is correct or not. Unless there are citations from a reputable source, there is no way of actually knowing if the information is...
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