Will Gadgets Make Knowledge Obsolete?
I’ve spent the last few weeks away from the internet dealing with life issues. In a short time away it seems like things have changed so rapidly. In a recent ComputerWorld article they make some interesting points about how not to long ago the internet was unknown, rapid access to knowledge was limited to libraries, and government archives, GPS was unheard of. Now things are changing at lightning speed and access to data and knowledge could become obsolete with new and fancier gadgets.
In the 1984 cyberpunk novel Neuromancer, author William Gibson describes a future in which people can acquire knowledge by buying special chips called “microsofts” that plug into a surgically installed jack behind the ear. Once you plug in the chip, your brain can access its database and — voila! — knowledge!
It’s an interesting and creepy idea, but one that we’re going to have to face eventually. No, not painful implants; we’re going to have to face the problem of education in a world in which nearly all knowledge is available to everyone, instantly, all the time.
A mere 20 years ago, almost no one had heard of the Internet, had ever used a cell phone or even knew what “GPS” stood for.