The fragility of the knowledge society

I don’t really believe that we live in a “knowledge society.”

Technocrats say we live in a knowledge society. Educators and politicians sometimes say we live in a knowledge society. Sometimes they’re trying to say: a world where formal knowledge from the education and research sector is crucial to social success, economic production, and the like. OK, education is a means of getting jobs, and a marker of social distinction. Scientific research is sometimes very politically involved (paradigmatically, the Manhattan Project). None of that seems to add up to a social order where “knowledge” is the foremost concern, mightiest tool and dominant value.

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