This is a subject I'm always interested in, and I did vote this to the front page, but I'm skeptical as to what Mr. Park can really add to what already exists on the web beyond some decent philosophy.
He seems in part to want to bridge the current disconnect between what people know as individuals, what they know as a culture, and what they actually do. To my mind, if meaning is grounded in experience, then most Americans attach little meaning the knowledge that their cheap beef comes through deforestation of the Amazon, or that their SUVs contribute to climate change and indirectly to economic disparities between the first and third worlds. We have no direct experience, and hence a very low collective IQ.
I think the claim that of raising our collective IQ will help cause "social change" breaks down at a cultural level, as I'll attempt to explain below.
I agree with the statement that we lack direct experience (I usually bring it up a level and say we lack perspective), but I disagree that we have a low collective IQ. Most people do know what SUV's do to the environment, and that in general our lifestyle comes at the expense of the environment and creates a lot of misery overseas. The mainstream media really does say as much. The mainstream media presents other opinions as well, however. People who like their lifestyle and can't imagine anything else will latch onto any view that supports their opinion.
And when you think about it, most people really do have direct experience. When you suddenly get laid off after years of dedicated work from your company, or cancer rates skyrocket in your town after a chemical plant is built right down the road, people know who is doing what. People can connect the dots. They aren't that stupid.
The problem in our culture is that people assume our way of life is inevitable. Overwhelming Factual Evidence, which seems to be what Mr. Park is trying to get to everyone, could help, but it isn't going to kill off apathy and the belief that This Way Of Life Is Inevitable. That requires something else.
I was having a discussion with a coworker of mine a few months ago. He's a fairly typical right winger. He's very pro-American and pro-American lifestyle. We had the globe out and were discussing oil in the middle east through central asia. In the course of the discussion he says to me, "you know, I used to think all the countries of the world were holding the US back. Now I realize it's the other way around." When I hear that from someone who believes our way of life is correct, it tells me that knowledge isn't the problem, it's cultural inertia, selfishness, and just a general disconnect that knowledge alone can't fix.
In addition, the sensory limits of the internet have a very limited ability to impart a kind of "direct experience". If you really want to understand what's happening in a remote location, you need to be there. You need to be able to see it with your own eyes, hear the sounds, taste and smell what's in the air. There is no technology out there that can recreate reality in a way that is convincing to our senses.
That all being said, I am hopeful that ideas like this can help. There is always the chance that talking and reading about things we never thought of or knew about can start to shift our cultural inertia. I'm just not quite as hopeful as Mr. Park.
In a world full of thieves, the only crime is getting caught.