Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Egypt to eBooks - the digital evolution

Like a rising digital tide of change we wonder why? We all know the digital evolution of business and social life is upon us, lapping at our feet. The incredible changes are now too numerous to mention without sounding like platitudes. Though last month's announcements by Apple of their Apple watch device and platform beg the question: How did we get to this 'hyper-evolution' in the digital space?

From Egypt to eBooks

It's not yet a commonly held view, though I believe the digital society started hundreds of years ago. At least with the first printing press and by extension a few thousand years before that in our social desire to trade things; a trade in ideas, goods and services. For example it is relatively straight forward to argue that the great library of Alexandria in Egypt 2300 years ago functioned the same way as today's giant server parks that host millions of databases and websites.

Access back then was for the privileged few who had the right credentials, could travel, read and make sense of the scrolls. Access today is via an internet link at home, at work or at school via a revolutionary interface tool called the world wide web.

The hunger for knowledge has always been there, in hearts and minds of children, women and men. The difference now is, most people can read, most of us now have access to knowledge and most of us don't need to physically travel to get it. Indeed most of us don't need to ask permission from anyone to access it. Together these factors create perfect conditions for people to quench their thirst for knowledge. A thirst that has been with us for millennia.

Today what we experience as digital hyper-evolution is simply an acceleration of access to knowledge. We are in other words just following our natural desire to attempt to understand the world in a hope of making our lives better.

It would appear an adjustment in thinking is well over due if we are to make sense of the rising tide. A tide that is perfectly normal when seen in a historical context.

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