THE NEXT STEP
The Evolution of Knowledge#
© Nevit Dilmen / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)
Is Information Sharing the Next Evolutionary Step?#
The advent of the Internet has catalyzed discussions about the significance of information sharing in contemporary society. Yochai Benkler, a prominent thinker of the digital age, contends that our current interconnected era represents a distinctive phase in human evolution1. This begs the question: Is it the vastness or the intrinsic nature of the Internet that underscores this evolutionary leap?
A Historical Perspective#
Efforts to control and suppress knowledge have historical precedence. From the European Dark Ages to ancient Chinese dynasties, there have been instances of authorities manipulating information, often by rewriting history to serve their agendas2.
Contrastingly, the inception of human civilizations was anchored in the principle of collaboration and knowledge sharing. This perspective counters the competitive ethos of social Darwinism, suggesting that cooperation has historically been a cornerstone of human progress.
Archives New Zealand / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
CAVES by G.D.Cowne#
Deep within the caverns, the explorers tread carefully. Bathed in the glow of floodlights, mesmerizing hues were unveiled. Henry's vigilance spared Andrew from disrupting a delicate silicate formation, highlighting the cave's dual nature—enchanting yet treacherous.
The Internet Era#
The Internet's birth was marked by challenges, especially from service providers vying for content supremacy3. Beyond the economic motivations, the underlying force propelling the Internet's growth was the human impulse for efficient information exchange.
Yochai Benkler posits that collaborative platforms, like Wikipedia and Linux, herald the next iteration of human organizational structures and knowledge creation1. The magnitude and velocity of information dissemination today may signal a momentous shift in human evolution.
The Significance of Connectivity#
The Ancient Library of Alexandria#
Alexandria - Remnants of the Serapeum near Pompey's Pillar. (GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2)
A beacon of ancient scholarship, the Library of Alexandria was a hub for intellectuals of its time4. The institution embodied the ethos of knowledge dissemination, as it mandated copying any new scholarly material brought into the city.
The Brain in Action#
Richard Feynman: Can Machines Think?#
A Nobel laureate in Physics, Richard Feynman delves into the provocative question of whether machines possess the capability to think.
The manipulation of knowledge has been a recurring theme across civilizations, often influenced by those in power. ↩
The digital age brought forth debates over content control and accessibility on the Internet, with several stakeholders involved. ↩
The Library of Alexandria, situated in ancient Egypt, stands as an emblem of the commitment to knowledge preservation and dissemination in antiquity. ↩