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Herbert George Wells on the World Encyclopaedia (1936)  (View post)

Aaron Ortiz [PersonRank 0]

Thursday, August 7, 2008
12 years ago2,555 views

H.G. Wells, how prophetic, except the bit about self-awareness

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

I admire this lecture by Herbert George.

When reading through this post, things come to my mind: the Internet, Wikipedia (and other wiki things), blog, Google search (page rank), G-Brain (?) and Social etc.

We have been getting closer and closer to Herbert George's vision formed in 1936.

The only thing I disagree with H.G. is about Encyclopaedia’s language. HG suggested an one-way street from English to others.

Firstly, language is not so important in such vision, English is just a de facto standard of international communication, just like Latin in academic field 2000 years ago; secondly and more importantly, there are load of culture issues that can not be represented by foreign languages. Unless we want to have a unify culture of all mankind, and destroy diversification of cultures, language usage in this world brain is not going to be an one-way street.

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

When communications and interactions between individual in a society are getting richer and richer, the whole society is becoming more like a brain, and individuals are just like brain cells.

Electronic communication and computing have speed up such processes.

J. McNair [PersonRank 10]

12 years ago #

Let's see, science fiction writer William Gibson said "the future is already here. It's just not very evenly distributed."

In technology, much of the best stuff was sitting on university bookshelves for a decade or two, waiting for the rest of science and industry to (re)discover it. Of course focused research also produces new things useful now, but it also often produces a neat idea that can't work (yet).

Simply, I'm impressed, but not surprised, that H.G. Wells predicted some future combination of the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Wikipedia, a scientific journal editorial review committee and Google.

[put at-character here]Andy Wong
Agreed. The solution to language barriers is NOT forcing one language on the world. Truly, we need inexpensive and accessible translation services for everyone ever. From any language TO any language. Oh, wait, isn't Google already DOING that for the internet?

Murty BVNS [PersonRank 1]

12 years ago #

Several centuries back Indian sages have started such an effort which has given raise to Vedas (the ancient Indian sciences) . They have created a society which was divided into castes and one caste was given the job of librarians the Vyas. They aggregated, classified, expounded and transmitted that knowledge through ages for generations. The dream of unified human knowledge is not new. Every civilization tried for it. Now the technology is helping us to unify.

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