Do You Think the Internet Currently Contains All Mankind's Accumulated Knowledge?

by journey-on 34 Replies latest jw friends

  • beksbks

    It only stands to reason that if people, who are actually social animals, stop being social, there will be fallout.

  • journey-on

    Beks, you know books. Do you remember a sci-fi book from decades ago by Isaac Asimov about a society that had evolved into one that stayed individually in isolation and their communication was only done electronically? I can't remember the name of it. But, sometimes I think that is where we are headed.

    More and more executives and management level employees are working out of home offices and communicating electronically. Business meetings are virtual and conversations are done via email or phone. In a way, I love it. I sometimes talk to my family members via skype and though it's not perfect, it's not bad.

  • beksbks

    Oh hell JO it's pretty obvious I love it too. The ability to connect with people from around the world, everything about the instant communication and ability to access that elusive quote or statistic. But I worry that we are not balancing out the human contact in our every day lives. I talk to damn near everyone I come in contact with. Standing in front of the squash at the store, "what cha gonna make with that?" People almost come out of a trance and look at me and then suddenly they just melt and appear to be downright thankful for the contact.

    There was a lady in line in front of me the other day at a clothing store, buying a skirt and top set, floral. 20 minutes later, she was in front of me at the grocery store. I said..........."You look like the kind of woman that would look great in a floral skirt set"............She looked at me like I was psychic and started to tell me how she just got one. I said I know, I was in line behind you. She laughed her butt off. I am amazed we don't notice each other much anymore.

  • darthfader

    I have to agree with JeffT (on page1). There are no good ways to determine if the information you are reading is BS or not? I have a collection of links I go to for "trusted information" and I "very cynnically" search beyond that list for more details. I also agree that digital history can easily be reweitten, but you must remember that everything put on the internet is replicated by myriad search engines and sites so at least there is some "preservation" going on here.

  • jgnat

    JGnat: We've lost knowledge...

    Journey on: Like what, janat?

    Well, if I knew what we lost, it would be found, wouldn't it? A great deal of history is lost when the records are lost. For instance, there are paper articles about my famous uncle Christie, but almost nothing online. It is as if he never existed.

    The formula for some colors of glass were lost when the tradesmen died without passing on their secrets.

    Two tiny examples.

  • journey-on

    Good point, jnat. Just since yesterday, my hubby and I have been searching high and low for info on an antique tool he received from his father. So far we are coming up with zero. We may have to make a trek to an old-fashioned library with real books!

  • pontoon
  • pontoon

    Absolutely NO. Just as a start the common knowledge and wisdom learned through life's experiences if not passed down often disappear with the person posessing it. But now if it's knowledge and wisdom you want the Wat & Awake mags hav................just kidding

  • TD
    Do you remember a sci-fi book from decades ago by Isaac Asimov about a society that had evolved into one that stayed individually in isolation and their communication was only done electronically?

    That would have been the planet Solaria in the novel The Naked Sun.

  • jgnat

    I've been haunted by this question through the night. Due to my profession (Records Management) I am painfully aware of how much knowledge is lost, and continues to be lost every day. Worries about copyright and appropriate compensation keeps more knowledge locked up.

    • Most pre-internet knowledge, if kept, is in books. Books go out of print, fall in to disuse, become obsolete.
    • The library in Alexandria burned in 283 BC.
    • Google's plan to put millions of books online is entangled in copyright.
    • Copyright hoards until a method of compensation is found.
    • More and more works are protected from free viewing on the internet. Ten years ago I could find a sample business plan through google. Now I can't.
    • Industry specifications are cost. Some works can only be purchased through association membership. For example, try and find more than a general description of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) online.
    • I tried to track down the results of a study of the deterioration of paper online. News leading up to the results is available, but not the final report. Where is it? My guess is the results are too valuable to be made freely available.
    • Some researchers freely share, others hoard. A researcher may die without publishing the results.
    • Web pages have an average life span of three months. What you find today may be gone tomorrow. The owners may not publish as much information about themselves as they did in the past.

    If you asked if the Internet will become the premier source of current knowledge, I'd be more inclined to say yes. Once we disentangle copyright from it's paper roots.

    P.S. Here's a worthy project languishing from lack of support.

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