Information communication technology (ICT) advancement has brought the mankind two incredible freedoms: to create knowledge and to access knowledge. The great question is -How will these new freedom effect our society? How should we respond to this new freedom? I don’t know, but here are what some people are saying and my educated guesses.
Access to knowledge
Today’s knowledge on the web is made ever more sorted, relevant by innovations from both profit and nonprofit organizations like: Google Search, News, Scholar and Print, Wikipedia (a free encyclopedia in all language in progress) and Technorati (a service that search blogs though “Tags” or hyperlinks in its posts). The best thing about them is that they are free and available to anyone connected. All the time, innovations like wi-fi broadband are increasing the number of people expose to connectivity as connections become cheaper, easier, faster, and more convenient and reducing the so call digital divide.
This trend is only likely to continue despise efforts and arguments against it because knowledge or content creation are becoming so costless people usually donate them for free. One of the two main reasons why knowledge creations are so cheap are: a) price reduction and widespread use of knowledge creation equipments such as computer, cameras, recorders and increasingly mobile phones; b) The increase in the share of knowledge workers in our economy.
Lawrence Lessig a leading visionary for freeing knowledge and his sympathizers are arguing for the rewrite copyright laws to allow even greater freedom to create knowledge, albeit there also other sensible views. While tags (hyperlink) in previous sentence sum up the legal argument for and against Lessig’s vision of copyright law, I would like to see its argued from an economic or political perspective.
That big questions are what is all this leading to? Organizations like wikimedia are calling for free knowledge for all. A very noble cause, I have mention in earlier article that wider distribution of knowledge will help the poorer economies to catch-up. Other advocates have conjured up vision of a demise of forth estate (professional news media) and phrenicea sees the information future as an interconnected brain network. Interesting but maybe not for the foreseeable future.
I will attempt to speculate what will be the likely tread of our future in the next post.