The World of We Think

Thanks to John Pederson, again, for leading me to another great video (and to Scott McLeod for leading John to it!). This simple, black-and-white video paints a vivid, colorful portrait of the changing of society that is happening as a result of evolving technologies.

A couple of questions came to mind when viewing the video.

  1. Has the read/write web really produced a dramatic shift in societal values from getting rich to “socializing and getting recognition?” What will be the economic system that our children will enter, when Web 2.0 is so focused on sharing and openness?
  2. The video asserts that the new web is good for “Equality because knowledge can be set free to help people who need it but cannot pay.” While true, how will they utilize this knowledge without equitable access? In other words, what will we as a society do to help provide the tools of access required to get to all of these wonderful resources?


  1. Society has never provided equitable resources for all. I doubt it ever will. I will never be able to afford the latest gadgets or to have all of them at one time, and some people have none. But the point is not the gadgets we use but how we are using social networks and an accessible forum to share ideas. It is a shift away from the move to more and more restrictive copyright fueled by corporations and those that are concerned about the ownership of ideas and their products to the emersion of the copyleftists, who believe that “information wants to be free.” Check out the Creative Commons @ . By sharing ideas and starting conversations we become stimulated and creative. Isn’t that learning in its purest form?

    Why is public education free? The folks at the private schools all have their own laptops by now, just for starters. Students come to us with a variety of resources and experiences that will probably never compare to the kids who have been all over Europe and have every book on the shelf they could ever want to read and the latest Blackberry in their pocket. That is why the most important thing to learn is how to think. So much information is thrown at us every day it is imperative we know how to look at it critically and evaluate it. We must learn to effectively communicate our own ideas with others. Conversation! Gee, that sounds like information literacy in a nutshell. Isn’t that what librarians do? But I digress.

    There are those who fear that if we do not protect our ideas and claim some kind of legal ownership of them creators cannot profit. Believe me, what is marketable will be marketed. But what is marketed will change. The exciting development is that people WANT to share without all of these restrictions. So you can choose to go to your local bookstore and own it, or come to the library and borrow it. You can make folks pay for your work, or you can share it. And talk about it. And maybe they will share thier ideas with you. Collaboration!

    If you ask me, that’s a trend I want to follow. And it gives me HOPE for the future. What has always mattered to most people is to feel valued. For some, making the most money makes them feel valued. Some would like someone to acknowledge that their work made some kind of difference or that they did it well or it is appreciated by others. Recognition. What I did mattered to somebody. If I can make a living doing it, hallelujah.

    Folks used to worry that the Internet separated us from having human contact. Now it is increasing contact and making our circle wider. It has its pluses and minuses. But we will think our way through it, won’t we?

  2. Great post, Jean. It’s been interesting to watch the reaction of some who have previously been the keepers/vendors of knowledge towards the movement to a more open store of information. Much of it has been downright hostile, essentially stating that the masses are too ignorant to contribute or too prone to nefarious goings-on. I’m an optimist, I must admit. I have already seen too much good to believe their pessimistic outcries, and I am just sharp enough to know when someone is protecting their own interests. 😉

  3. Indeed you are, Randy! Nice bass, by the way.

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