7.14.2010

Democratizing Information Access+Literacy: What happens when everyone's an architect?

This is a recent post on BigThink about trying to make programming languages part of people's everyday vocabulary: http://ht.ly/29p2f


Something to consider when it comes to the democratization of information access and information manipulation is: If everyone knew how to program would it be easier or harder to maintain the standards (html, CSS, OS software and computer hardware itself), or would all standards just melt away? I think the question of whether you want a democratization of programming/techno knowledge is what will separate the technocrats who believe only an esoteric barrier between the masses and the technocratic elite can protect the stability we need to have communciation and cross-compatibility; from those who hope for a more egalitarian system that does not obscure knowledge on purpose.

One thing that might happen with routinized computer knowledge is that our collective ability to create and maintain standards would become tied to our politico-socio-psycho-economic ability to cooperate with each other. 



Whereas now I think the esoteric nature information architecture/design/planning is allowing us to exceed our actual social potential for cooperation, with the democratization of knowledge we might see a temporary setback and some struggles until we somehow learn to let everyone hold their own reigns and still come together to create something greater such as the internet and collective info archives that require standard setting practices.


I would choose to take this harder path because the potential fruits are much greater; it all comes down to do you believe a truly free and open, decentralized society can function? would you bet on it? would you risk WWIII for the sake of it? We have yet to see major warfare based solely on information.. a sign that we haven't really grappled with what information means to us yet.

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