Of historian David McCullough’s many works, I only have read The Great Bridge (1972) on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. He won the Pulitzer Prize for both Truman (1993) and John Adams (2001). His current best seller is 1776 (2005).
David McCullough, 73, in a commencement address at the University of Connecticut in May 1999, provided some real words of wisdom to the new graduates and a perspective on “information”, that —it is safe to say— many will have already forgotten or failed to take to heart at the time. Seven plus years have passed since his address at Uconn but his words and thoughts are certainly as relevant today as back then and are worth repeating here (for our edification, of course).
“Information has become an industry, a commodity to be packaged, promoted and marketed incessantly. The tools for ‘accessing’ data grow ever more wondrous and ubiquitous and essential if we’re to keep in step, we’ve come to believe. All hail the Web, the Internet, the Information Highway. We’re being sold the idea that information is learning, and we’re being sold a bill of goods. Information isn’t learning. It isn’t common sense necessarily. It isn’t kindness. Or trustworthiness. Or good judgment. Or imagination. Or a sense of humor. Or courage. It doesn’t tell us right from wrong.” (May 15, 1999)
The full text of his Uconn address, in which McCullough also encourages the graduates to continue their education through reading, is well worth a look. His commencement advice was to "Read, read, read." I encourage you to read it here. Hmmm… this might be a kind of “circular” thing.