My father in-law is a smart man. Whilst chatting away about something or other, he quickly realised that we pretty much have the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, or at least to planet earth + a bit more.
What has enabled this?
- The Internet
- Google (and other search engines)
- Wikipedia (and other quality content repositories)
- A mobile device that can connect to these resources
- A lot of hard work
As I started a path down Wikipedia lane, learning about confederations vs. federations (many think Iraq should go the confederation route (where the parts have sovereignty, not the federal entity)), we realized how amazing it was.
How fantastic that an immense piece of knowledge is now at your fingertips. You could check out editorial fluff like this entry, or read the many versions of the bible.
As a parent this is a huge thing. I will never have to say “hmm, good question son. I am not sure if that is centrafugal or centrapetal forces at action”. Now I can go to backup and instead reply: “I wish I knew. Let’s take a peak and see what we can find out online”.
As I write this, I also have Google Earth spinning around. As a kid I would have given anything for this research tool, or should I say TOY. What a way to learn about the world, and explore it.
By the time my kids are older this will all be quaint I am sure. They will laugh at me for having to look at a “screen” in the old days. However, it all started here, and I am glad to have the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy in my own pocket, right next to a towel.