Justice Mahesh Sonak of the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court emphasized the pervasive influence of social and mass media as potent distractions, likening them to "weapons of mass distraction." During a lecture series at G R Kare College of Law, he underscored the absence of concerted efforts to address this issue.
Expressing a personal strategy, Justice Sonak revealed his preference for a deliberate lack of engagement with news, stating that remaining "uninformed" is preferable to being "misinformed." In an era where technological marvels like computers and smartphones are celebrated, he lamented the skepticism towards human thought, cautioning against overreliance on artificial intelligence and algorithms at the expense of human cognitive abilities, PTI reported.
While acknowledging the merits of artificial intelligence, Justice Sonak warned against surrendering the ability to think independently to machines. He argued that preserving humanity necessitates safeguarding our capacity for critical thinking and sensitive decision-making.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Justice Sonak drew parallels between the historical battle against weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and the contemporary challenge posed by media as "weapons of mass distraction." He called for a collective effort to confront and address the growing influence of these media tools.
In a personal revelation, the judge shared his self-imposed "news diet" lasting nearly four years. By abstaining from news consumption, he acknowledged being uninformed about several issues but justified this as a deliberate choice to avoid misinformation. The judge stressed the dichotomy between being uninformed and misinformed, advocating for a mindful approach to information consumption.
The event saw the presence of notable figures, including President of Vidya Vikas Academy Nitin Kunkolienkar, Vice President Pritam Moraes, and the college's Principal Doretti Simoes. Justice Sonak's insights contribute to the ongoing discourse on the role and impact of media in contemporary society, urging individuals to cultivate independent and discerning thinking amid the ever-growing influence of mass media.