Friday, December 21, 2012
Finding an answer to a question these days is not as easy as one might think; you can't just type in a question on Google and expect to find a factual answer. The reality is that for any given subject you might encounter at least 162,375,678 results! The point is that we're confronted with a variety of conflicting results every time we access the Internet for answers to our questions.
We do not value the memorization of information in the way we once did. We value storage space and connectivity over content. Why bother? There is far more content - which is growing exponentially - than ever before. Even Einstein didn't know his phone number at the University saying at the time, "Why should I memorize it when I know where to find it?"
Educating ourselves in facts is far easier today than ever before. Pretty soon, we'll all have the same amount of "knowledge" downloaded (or uploaded) into us. What then?
We'll have millions of answers to any given question. We'll be walking Googles. We'll go from Human 1.0 to Google Human 2.0. But how will we access knowledge's truth-value? Will we invent an algorithm to alert us when a file has been modified by editing software or written with ulterior motives?
Accessing the value of data has long-since required critical thinking, reflection and artistry. Just as artists do, we work with meanings of society to express something new - to see and then show the world.
Someday: (Neither) Seeing, hearing, reading, nor downloading will be believing. In our last factual age, we valued facts. In our post-factual age, we value what people do with those facts. What will be of increasing value in the future will not be combinations of new information but rather philosophical and artistic creations that help us synthesize information.
There will be a rise in philosophical and artistic education as we move forward into the connected age. With information no longer being a treasured jewel of the elite, the ample body of individuals we have on this planet will begin creating more and more artistic expressions of their lives, which others will inherently be interested in learning more about.
In the future, most of our information will be about each other.