Working with my own designs on telecommuting and using technology as a teaching tool, I’ve been too involved in the logistics of getting the concepts to work and not enough time to morally judge, whether the direction is a beneficial one. Now, I’m certainly no Luddite and in fact, accept technology as a natural evolution for our current form, but this does now make me pause for thought, over how careful and planned these advances should be.
My most recent concerns, stem over the susceptibility of people who are continually isolated, or choose to immerse themselves in virtual, rather than physical worlds. Should we continue to adapt as a species, to consistently anchor our social and educational lives through an online existence, how can we regulate the flow of information, to ensure what we’re not getting are best guess concepts and/or mis-educated ‘facts’.
To put two common resources next to each other, consider the Bible and Wikipedia. One literary religious companion that people have based ‘facts’ on, despite there not being overwhelming evidence for at least some of it. The second, people often refer to as a resource of knowledge, even though it’s edited by people who update it with their own perception and understanding. At some point, we’ll need to be editing the content, to guarantee a fact of common knowledge (after all, some facts are opinions, not really scientific facts). If it’s not edited in such a way and is continually used, then the eventual education of the ever expanding island of ‘Internet people’, will become nothing more than a collection of concepts and ideals, based on someones possibly twisted view of the world we live in. If our future education comes from these sources, we will become actors in a fantasy setting and the real world will crumble around us.
Of course it can be said, that this has already happened with the pushing of religious doctrine and story-telling amongst the population, when we were less scientifically educated and more open to fantasy realms. However, it doesn’t necessitate the continuation of such systems, in the progression of technology.
Let’s just hope our caretakers, can find the balance between regulation and freedom of speech.