Startups, learning, life and happiness by Paul Brown

The Whole World In Your Hands

Have you ever stopped to think about just how much of a crucial point in time ‘right now’ is for humanity..?

The internet has enabled so much change in the world and one change I always find myself thinking about is the serious shift in the amount of knowledge available to us all.

For the first time everyone on our planet has the whole of the world’s knowledge in their pocket and available to them all of the time. Everyone is just one click away from the answer they need. We have all been given a super power allowing us to know the answer to any question in under one minute - it is pretty remarkable and the technology allowing us to do this is developing fast. 

Perhaps now instead of trying to memorise facts, shouldn’t we instead be trying to learn ways to use the technology better to get the facts we need? I think of course in the past there has had to be a degree of studying facts and learning facts as we needed a base level of knowledge to operate in society but maybe society is changing, maybe knowing the facts is not so important now - as Einstein said “I never commit to memory anything that can easily be looked up in a book” - so what is left to commit to memory when everything can be looked up on-line?

..There is an answer for almost every question, the internet even knows more about ME than I do - the internet could list my favourite books faster than I could and it would know the exact date that I went on holiday last year - I can’t even tell you which month the holiday was.

What is most exciting about thinking about the internet in this way is the never-ending list of things you can learn about. If we are committing less to memory it means there is more room for us to learn new things. Okay so you don’t know much about history (Wikipedia has that covered) but you can speak four languages, you are useless with geography (Google maps has your back) but you can play the sitar, or you are rubbish at maths (thanks again Google) but you have built a photovoltaic module out of doughnuts and herbal tea.

The internet has truly given me (and you) the freedom to do anything we want to do and this has to have some major consequences.

Having the whole world in your hands is a powerful thing, it has levelled the playing field and as it becomes more and more integrated into our day-to-day lives through projects like this it will continue to completely revolutionise our world and empower us all to do anything we want to do.