In this series of posts, I’m going to explore the 21st Century renaissance of knowledge and how we are adapting to accommodate it. Perhaps in a slightly less dystopian manner then in Huxley’s novel, I believe we really are in a new frontier of technology. And I should clarify that this is not a review of the book, but rather a discussion of the rapid evolution of human development. Development, that is increasing at an unprecedented rate. Everyday, breakthrough discoveries occur in every field imaginable. We really are in what can only be described as a ‘knowledge renaissance’. Though it does beg some important questions: What’s really at the root of all this change? What does this change mean for us as a society? And what does this mean for us as a species?
With the very landscape of knowledge shifting under our feet, new challenges become apparent just keeping abreast of all this change. Despite my own best efforts to check science news at least a couple of times a day, I’m still aware that I’m only scratching the surface. Being a prodigious reader of journals, I grapple with my own limitations of processing and learning.
What makes all of this possible is a revolution in access to information: Namely, The Internet. The Internet allows unfettered access to an endless sea of information. A beguiling buffet of facts, ideas, creative processes, and social interaction. It is my belief that hundreds of millions of daily interactions through this gateway has sparked a ‘technological renaissance’, the like of which mankind has never seen.
We thrive because we are able to interpret our world and adapt. When knowledge evolves and changes, our understanding of the world changes. As with a tree, the branches thicken and the canopy expands. As new ideas flourish, the tree bears fruit.
The influence of this new revolution in knowledge is what is filling the ever narrowing gap between fiction and what was once considered science fiction. Technologies spanning invisibility cloaks to breakthrough biomedical advances are made daily. Even as the advances are occurring, our understanding of the world is also changing. As a species, we are learning more about everything in virtually every field. Will this end in some ironic parody of H.G. Wells a modern Utopia and Men Like Gods? Or will the technology and benefits of this vast knowledge spur a great new age in human history. Only time will tell the impact of the discoveries we’re making.
Honestly, I believe that the benefit of our ever changing and ever growing knowledge will lead to a new frontier in human kind. Whether like the novels of the past, or the dreams and ambitions of the present, the vast and rapid development of technology and gains in knowledge will shape the landscape of tomorrow.