Saturday, September 17, 2005

Information Haves and Have Nots

Today, if you hear that someone has successfully conducted a physics experiment and discovered a new energy source (let's say, cold fusion), you can assume that person is a physicist by training.

However, I believe as the Internet continues to change our global society, that will change. People who are not physicists will make valuable contributions to physics. People who are not medical doctors will conduct medical research and discover new ways of healing.

The amount of information on any particular topic, especially the sciences, is so vast that someone could possibly (albeit not easily) educate themselves to the point where they can advance the level of that topic beyond what anyone had envisioned.

It is my understanding that MIT has decided to put all their class material on the Internet for free to anyone who wants it.

Can you imagine a kid in Thailand who reads and reads and reads and finally comes up with a new theory that can stop global warming in its tracks?

How can this be a bad thing? Of course, the people who were classically trained in the sciences will be horrified when this happens, but perhaps this also means that science will not have to advance "one funeral at a time," because it won't be necessary to put every new theory through the established channels of approval, and instead it will be something that many "unqualified people" dabble in.

The age of information "haves" and "have nots" will be over.

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