Knowledge in the digital age

We all know, as Thomas Friedman so rightly put it, that the world is getting flatter. As technology develops, and knowledge/skills become readily available from Bangalore to Burnley to Baha, the traditional models of corporate control and nepotistic elitism are becoming utterly obsolete.

Now there is a new and, frankly, fantastic service that utilises the flattening power of the internet to give people an even greater opportunity to learn, develop and improve than ever before. The might of iTunes & YouTube have created, in tendem with some of the best Universities around the world, a couple of platforms through which anyone and everyone can access the thoughts of the greatest minds on the planet.

Apple have brought us iTunes U, and Google have created YouTube EDU.

These two sites have reams and reams of lectures that are available free, as podcasts or streamed videos, on any subject from nano-technology to string theory to Darwinism to China’s role in a globalised economy. There are thousands upon thousands of talks and debates from Universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE and many, many more.

The availability of this level of specialised knowledge, which has up to now only been available to the privileged elite, is a new dawn in the life of the internet from a ‘knowledge flattening’ perspective. Of course it is not a tangible revolution in how the internet is used (as consumer-generated content was, and location-based GPS-enabled intelligent content will be), but it is a demonstration of how the bigger internet brands are utilising their platforms for the greater good.

Check them out – absolutely brilliant.

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