The Democratization of Knowledge
April 20, 2007 3 Comments
Who Says We Know: On the new Politics of Knowledge – by Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia. Quote:
Professionals are no longer needed for the bare purpose of the mass distribution of information and the shaping of opinion. The hegemony of the professional in determining our background knowledge is disappearing—a deeply profound truth that not everyone has fully absorbed.
The votaries of Web 2.0, and especially the devout defenders of Wikipedia, know this truth very well indeed. In their view, Wikipedia represents the democratization of knowledge itself, on a global scale, something possible for the first time in human history. Wikipedia allows everyone equal authority in stating what is known about any given topic. Their new politics of knowledge is deeply, passionately egalitarian.
I was recently commenting to my boss that the days of so-called experts who make themselves relevant by creating powerpoint slides and layers of abstraction are numbered. Why? Because with the technology you have nowadays, you can have all the information you need by say just doing a Google search on your handheld. Suppose you were in a discussion with some “expert” and you wanted to argue a point. The playing field is a lot different nowadays.
Interestingly Stephen Colbert’s take on “Wikiality” is mentioned in passing. Heh. I used to watch the Daily Show a couple of years back and am a big fan of both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and I have to say that Stephen Colbert is the Greatest Living American.