Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Internet and The Printing Press:

I am beginning to think we are on the verge of a New Age Renaissance.

When Johan Gutenberg invented the printing press in 1439, information was spread across the European continent like never before. The printing press enabled widespread literacy, and thus the scientific revolution, the protestant reformation, and modern forms of participatory government, i.e. democracy. Cultures started to spread and bleed into each other, which boosted creativity, and so great works of art and music start to appear. This of course all steamrolled into the American and French Revolutions. And all of this was enabled by the widespread availability of information.

Twenty years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the internet. We are beginning to see the same sort of things happening now that happened five hundred years ago during the first Renaissance Age. The internet is the printing press of a new renaissance. That is an over simplification of an idea that I intend to look at more closely in the future. Nevertheless, information is becoming more widely available now then it ever has been before. People are working together on collective intelligence projects like Wikipedia and other forms of 'Web 2.0' participatory media. More people in the developing world are becoming educated. All of humanity can come together on the internet. Our cultures are migrating onto the internet, and forming the ultimate global melting pot of ideas, images, videos, music, art and information.

It's a very exciting time to be alive. Don't you think?

Ah, selah!

-Kevin Lepore

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