Ignored Future

I was watching CSPAN this morning and there was an interview with a man that was in charge of Howard Dean’s internet-related PR I believe. He was talking with a group at the Library of Congress and offering some insight to the future of information and how it’s made available to the masses. One of the key points that he made was that before the internet knowledge gathering was basically a selfess activity. People would look to books and teachers to learn the things they wanted to know and then close it up inside them. The internet (and specifically blogging) have helped changed this self-serving approach to knowledge and data gathering.
It is estimated that 2.6 Million American citizens have blogs. That’s about 2 percent of the people that have internet acess. That means that the chances are very good that everyone knows someone that owns a blog.
I know for a fact that I’m the only person in my family that blogs. Most of my family probably doesn’t even know what a blog is. This may just be one of the downsides of growing up in a back-woods small town in Indiana, but I found out didn’t I? I don’t believe that the only reason I found out is because I went to college either. Most of the people I was in college with wouldn’t know what a blog was either. Is it because I work with the internet on a daily basis? I don’t think so. No, I think it’s something a little deeper.
Wikipedia is a prime example of the future of information distribution that most people know nothing about. The idea of Wikipedia is to produce a comprehensive and FREE encyclopedia for the world to use. It’s currently available in more than 20 languages. This is a massive project that survives only with the help of people all over the world. To produce an encyclopedia set this comprehensive would take years. Why is that people aren’t aware of projects like this? This is the future. It’s going to hit many people over the head one day and those people are going to be the ones complaining about how things have “changed so much since I was young” not realizing that things started changing when they were young, they just weren’t informed enough to know.

Some imagery provided by Unsplash.

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