Ubiquitous, Unstoppable Information
I recently read a manuscript about ‘information’ in the 1300’s. If you couldn’t read you couldn't learn much, and not a lot of people knew how to read. Valuable information was kept in the hands of kings, the upper class, and the priests. They had a monopoly on information.
You couldn’t learn even if you wanted to. It was unlikely you’d have the free time to read books all day, and besides, would you be given access to the royal or church libraries?
The printing press changed everything. More material was available than ever before and more people became literate in order to read from and contribute to this stock of knowledge. The Enlightenment ensued, as well as the French and American revolutions.
A little information is a powerful thing.
Something similar is happening today. A wave of information is flooding out over the web. If information was ‘available’ before, it’s now ubiquitous and incredibly accessible.
This information is bursting out of the pixels on your screen. Satellites shoot it around the globe in milliseconds. It’s flooding through the air around you at the speed of light. Even encrypted, hidden, secret ideas find their way into the public forum via sites like Wikileaks.
There is no more monopoly on information. You can read. You can surf the web. You don’t even need to be in a classroom or library. You can access this information from anywhere.
The information is valuable.
Villagers in Bangladesh are tapping in, teaching themselves to code and running businesses with clients in the United States.
You can use it to improve your career, strengthen your relationships and advance your financial situation. You can learn any skill, master any language, and contact anyone in the world.
Don’t Squander The Gift
Nothing can stop you from using this powerful tool except yourself. Will you spend your time watching silly shows and laughing at cats on BuzzFeed?
Being able to read but choosing not to is equivalent to being illiterate, like the villagers in France and England in the 1300’s. They had no choice but to accept with blind faith what they were told from the kings and church priests. Would you take the Internet more seriously if it was taken from you, like in China where Google is illegal or in North Korea where only the elite have access?
Like the printing press in the 1600’s, it is sparking a second Enlightenment, with explosive growth in technology, chemistry, medicine… everything!
Its gift to you is a never ending, self-directed and unstoppable stream of knowledge you can use to improve all aspects of your life.