In the information age, we must specialize to survive
In an effort to meet all standard requirements for a degree in one year, the 52 years of Lexington, Massachusetts, also made courses on English common law, the final works of Shakespeare and Science of Cooking, which coincided with diploma in chemistry obtained from Wesleyan University in 1985. Lets talk about information age of Technology.
This is the bright side: Have not spent a penny in tuition or fees. Instead, he took the variety of free courses offered by the most prestigious universities. Having documented the project in its web, and in his new book explores the broader phenomenon of massive and open courses online (Massive Open Online Course or MOOC, for its acronym in English). He did not get a title (perhaps knowledge is free but the diploma is very expensive), but still satisfied.
The draft Haber embodies a modern miracle: the ease with which anyone can learn almost anything. Our ancestors built the impressive library of Alexandria to gather all the knowledge in the world, but today, smartphones make each palm in a palace of knowledge.
And yet, even as the Holy Grail (the acquisition of complete knowledge) seems very close, almost nobody talks about the resurgence of the man or woman of the Renaissance. The genius label can be applied with reckless abandon, even the chefs, basketball players and hairdressers, but the true scholars, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Benjamin Franklin, seem mythical figures of yesteryear.
Maybe we need another Franklin to explain why. Thanks to the power of technology and the brute force of demographics, the modern world would be full of people with solid achievements. At the time of Franklin, the world population was about 800 million; today is seven billion people, many of whom enjoy the blessings necessary for intellectual activity, good nutrition and access to education. In fact, the researcher James R. Flynn found that the scores related to IQ has increased worldwide for decades. Known as the “Flynn effect” is particularly pronounced in developed nations like the US, where the average scores increased three points per decade since the early 1900s.
However, it is much easier to feel like Sisyphus who like Leonardo today, because one thing that has grown faster than IQ scores is the amount of information that the brain must process. Google estimated in 2010 that had 300 exabytes (that is 300 followed by 18 zeroes) of information created in the world and that every two days, more information is created than had existed in the world since the dawn of time to the 2003.
No doubt those numbers have increased significantly since then. But does it really matter? As the observation of the physical connection that the universe has a diameter of 92 billion light years, these numbers are so large that defy human understanding; truths are meaningless to almost everyone not named Stephen Hawking. On the issue of aggregate information, let us wonder long.