Robert Knight

Facebook's stock may be anemic at the moment, but the social media site is growing by leaps and bounds. It is poised to hit 1 billion users.

The company told admiring geeks on Wednesday that it processes 2.5 billion pieces of content each day and more than 500 terabytes of data. A terabyte is a trillion bytes, or 1 million megabytes.

That's just Facebook. The information universe is expanding at warp speed, as information curator and author Steven Rosenbaum notes in the business magazine Fast Company: "In 2010 we frolicked, Googled, waded, and drowned in 1.2 zettabytes of digital bits and bytes. A year later volume was on an exponential growth curve toward 1.8 zettabytes. (A zettabyte is a trillion gigabytes; that's a 1 with 21 zeros trailing behind it.)"

The question is, with all this information, why aren't people getting smarter, and why aren't things better?

The short answer is that we don't lack information; we lack wisdom and common sense. How else to explain trying to get out of debt by borrowing more money? Or pretending that people who have warned us over and over that they want to kill us are not serious? Or that lowering standards of all kinds will improve things?

Once upon a time in America, you didn't have to explain certain, obvious things - what the Declaration of Independence describes as "self-evident truths." Here are a few things that used to be obvious:

If you find the Constitution too binding, you're probably trying to do something immoral and/or illegal.

If you leave the rule of law behind, you may find that, like a cheated spouse, it's not there when you want to go back to it.

Government is necessary because, as James Madison noted, men are not angels.

If you spend more than you take in, you run a deficit. If you don't cut spending, you sink deeper in debt.

If you project weakness, you don't create the conditions for peace - you invite aggression.

Now, for some observations on social issues, which liberals disconnect from their profound impact on economics and the growth of the welfare state:

Marriage is, as God created it, the foundation of civilization. As marriage weakens, society falls apart.

Men who misuse women are less trustworthy than men who don't and should be treated as cads. If they aren't, it encourages more swinish behavior.

Boys and girls are different in important ways that, if ignored, cause trouble, big-time.

Men who prefer pornography to real women are stuck in adolescent fantasy addiction and therefore less likely to be good husbands, fathers, citizens and officeholders.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.