Perplexed by the discussion, one fact (or inconsistency) remained clear. As we may think, we limit.
Validity is fluid. From an age where facts and publications were systematically linear, the shift to an unlimited writing space has deepened our understanding of ideas and made us accustomed to the simplicity of tasks. Whilst the activity of experimental learning has undoubtedly been used to question assumptions presented in relationships and tactic structures, we still very much depend on the expert or the informed.
As discussed within the symposium, the principles of print literacy where not only formidable to the structure of publication, but also the process (or prerequisites) in which writers had to acquire in order to become published. In the development of the World Wide Web, the narrow channel of experts previously addressed in journals or encyclopaedias suddenly burst open- people became aware that information and ideas could now be shared freely, instantly and without mediation. Whilst this growth was versatile and celebrated, it was also the catalyst to the reprimand of political, economic and social commentary produced by self-appointed experts. Informed opinions- regardless of how wholesome, researched or liable- became under-appreciated and invalid when in comparison to institutional learning. But why was this so?
The remnants of these conversations still linger when we seek and question the validity of others and in ourselves. Although it may be trivial or completely obvious, we do solely live in a digital era. Words that fill physical books today are wholesomely typed on a keyboard, peer-reviewed journals are collated online in website databases and even creative traditions like poetry, art and historical artefacts are all a right-click-save-as away from being ours to study, deconstruct and appreciate forever.
Discovering validity can be as easy as referencing sources or unravelling information, but it’s also a little like painting; we’re starting to trust the self-taught Vincent Van Gogh‘s to give us their own impressions on canvases like Wikipedia. We just have to question the established art critics more.