A note on working to make the world a better place and how technology can help us contribute to better understanding and communication.
Those who are interested in changing the world for the better first need to understand what that better world might be. This requires increasing their understanding of the world and having rich, deep dialog with other people – no one single person or perspective have the answers – we must effectively work together.
To progress as a species we need to work towards developing entirely new ways of projecting, representing and interacting with knowledge – the knowledge which is in our own heads, knowledge between two people, a group, or the planet’s total population – knowledge of the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ as much as of the ‘what’. Human knowledge, human intention, not simply cold information.
The challenge is huge. And more than that, it is bigger than we can imagine.
The challenge we face in how we deal with our knowledge is – make no mistake about it – is as big for us as it would have been for the first people of the Levant all those thousands of years ago (the people first who turned marks on a surface into sounds), to have to design the great age of print overnight. It’s easy to gloss over the complexity of the printed word today. Print required the development of uniform, high quality paper, workable inks with the right properties to stay wet on the plate but quickly dry on the paper. The type and illustrations needed to be hard enough for repeated use and very crips and clear. The industrial framework of copyright, distributions, pricing models and the innovations in typography to add such polishes as standardised spelling, punctuation and even spaces between letters adds further layers of innovation to produce the printed book you and I can carelessly pick up from any of a number of places in town.
We now need to consciously work to build such a huge leap in how we interact with our knowledge and each other – and how we can continually improve on such a project.
With the technical infrastructure available, the power of supercomputers connected via super-high speed networks with high resolution screens – both in the traditional screen and keyboard setup (which works so well for focused desk-knowledge work) and emerging interactive technologies such as mobile devices, augmented reality headsets and more, we have powerful building blocks at our disposals. The only limits are the those of our imaginations, curiosities + dedication.
The opportunities are immense.