From my old website. A reminder.
From Sven Birkerts' The Guttenberg Elegies: The Fate of Reading in an Electronic Age:
The explosion of data — along with general societal secularization and the collapse of what the theorists call the "master narratives" (Christian, Marxist, Freudian, humanist...) — has all but destroyed the premise of understandability. Inundated by perspectives, by lateral vistas of information that stretch in every direction, we no longer accept the possibility of assembling a complete picture. Instead of carrying on the ancient project of philosophy - attempting to discover the "truth" of things — we direct our energies to managing information. The computer, our high-speed, accessing, storing, and sorting tool, appears as a godsend. It increasingly determines what kind of information we are willing to traffic in; if something cannot be written in code and transmitted, it cannot be important.
The old growth forests of philosophy have been logged and the owl of Minevera has fled. Wisdom can only survive as a cultural idea where there is a possibility of vertical consciousness. Wisdom has nothing to do with the gathering or organizing of facts — this is basic. Wisdom is seeing through facts, a penetration to the underlying laws and patterns. It relates the immediate to something larger — to a context, yes, but also to a big picture that refers to human endeavor sub specie aeternitatis, under the aspect of eternity. To see through data, one must have something to see through to. One must believe in the possibility of a comprehensible world. In philosophy this is called the "hermenuetic circle" - one needs the ends to know which means to use, and the means to know which ends are possible. And this assumption of ends is what we have lost. It is one thing to absorb a fact, to situate it alongside other facts in a configuration, and quite another to contemplate that fact at leisure, allowing it to declare its connection with other facts, the thematic destiny, its resonance.