The times we live in are, by far, the greatest in history for information and data. To be able to connect to a comprehensive database of human knowledge, theories and services with a couple of clicks and keystrokes is an immense privilege that we cannot begin to fully appreciate. With access to the internet now in handheld form, the human species is well on its way to becoming a technologically-driven race which, for better or worse, would see more information than someone 500 years ago would only dream of seeing in five life-times.

For example, if I told you there was a battle in WW2 where American and German soldiers fought together, or that there's an uncontacted tribe living on North Sentinal Island hostile to all who visit them, in around ten seconds you can be reading up the entire backstory, contemporary accounts and details regarding those two facts. At no other point in history could such a feat be possible, and the thought of it remains incredible. 

The internet is the culmination of what all knowledge should be: abundant, and accessible to everyone. When I think of knowledge as a concept, I think of the achievements and sacrifices of all those who came before us, from the first spark of fire to the splitting of the atom. As a result, knowledge is the most valuable commodity we have, and to disrespect it would be a crime unimaginable. To censor factual information, no matter the panic it may cause. To burn books, no matter their controversy. To restrict knowledge based on class or title, no matter the urgency, all could have a massive detriment on human advancement.

I am often reminded of a great mind from the past who was generations ahead of his time. One Nicola Tesla, who I believe is one of the most unappreciated figures from history, and the exact reason is clear. If I said he had the potential to, and even began the process of, making power free globally only to be shut down by wealthy businessmen, would it come as a shock to you? (No pun intended). J.P Morgan, owner of the power and rail company cut all funding to Tesla's project, as Morgan himself made millions from the power industry and did not want to lose profits. This made Tesla's groundbreaking dream impossible, and thus I believe humanity could have gone down a much prosperous path if greed did not poke its head through the door of progress.

Thinking of every lost technology in history and the potential it could have brought to society and the world is truly saddening to say the least. From Sloot's coding system (a data sharing technique that could store a full length movie on just 8 kilobytes of space) to Starlite (an indestructible heat-resistant material that could withstand a temperature of over 10,000 degrees Celsius), all lost to time without any hope of replication. 

Not to mention the complicating and polluting of accuracy thanks to media entertainment and propaganda. How many people today know that Roman gladiatorial games were never to the death? Or that the 'pirate' accent is a complete Hollywood fabrication? This is not even covering anti-vaxxers and the flat-earth movement, which is opening up a completely different can of ignorant worms.

Of course, everyone has their own opinions on the purpose of humanity's sentient existence, with mine being advancement. To move forward. To progress. To learn from the data of mistakes and atrocities, and to pass such knowledge on as delicately as you would a golden ring.

A good motto to live by is that everything can be improved, and so long as our human minds stay bright and open-minded, our species will never suffer from the vices of limitation or stagnation. 

 

Knowledge Without Borders