Astrophysicist and author Lewis Dartnell reveals why he has written The Knowledge, a handy guide for post-Apocalypse survivors
Tagged with “knowledge” (12)
Maybe an asteroid hit Earth. Perhaps a nuclear war reduced our cities to radioactive rubble. Or avian flu killed most of the population. Whatever the cause, the world as we know it has ended and now the survivors must start again. But how do we set about rebuilding our world from scratch?
Once you’ve salvaged what you can from the debris, how do you grow food and make clothes? How do you generate energy and develop medicines? And once you’ve mastered the essentials, how do you smelt metals, make gunpowder, or build a primitive radio set?
The Knowledge is a guidebook for survivors. We have become disconnected not only from the beautiful fundamentals of science and technology but even from the basic skills and knowledge on which our lives and our world depend.
The Knowledge is a journey of discovery, a book which explains everything you need to know about everything. Here is the blueprint for rebooting civilisation.
It will transform your understanding of the world – and help you prepare for when it’s no longer here.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks on the subject of knowledge, and its relationship with power.
Stories about the pitfalls of knowing just a little bit too little.
Universal access to all knowledge, Kahle declared, will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way. "We’re building the Library of Alexandria, version 2. We can one-up the Greeks!"
Start with what the ancient library had—-books. The Internet Library already has 3 million books digitized. With its Scribe Book Scanner robots—-29 of them around the world—-they’re churning out a thousand books a day digitized into every handy ebook format, including robot-audio for the blind and dyslexic. Even modern heavily copyrighted books are being made available for free as lending-library ebooks you can borrow from physical libraries—-100,000 such books so far. (Kahle announced that every citizen of California is now eligible to borrow online from the Oakland Library’s "ePort.")
As for music, Kahle noted that the 2-3 million records ever made are intensely litigated, so the Internet Archive offered music makers free unlimited storage of their works forever, and the music poured in. The Archive audio collection has 100,000 concerts so far (including all the Grateful Dead) and a million recordings, with three new bands every day uploading.
Moving images. The 150,000 commercial movies ever made are tightly controlled, but 2 million other films are readily available and fascinating—-600,000 of them are accessible in the Archive already. In the year 2000, without asking anyone’s permission, the Internet Archive started recording 20 channels of TV all day, every day. When 9/11 happened, they were able to assemble an online archive of TV news coverage all that week from around the world ("TV comes with a point of view!") and make it available just a month after the event on Oct. 11, 2001.
The Web itself. When the Internet Archive began in 1996, there were just 30 million web pages. Now the Wayback Machine copies every page of every website every two months and makes them time-searchable from its 6-petabyte database of 150 billion pages. It has 500,000 users a day making 6,000 queries a second.
"What is the Library of Alexandria most famous for?" Kahle asked. "For burning! It’s all gone!" To maintain digital archives, they have to be used and loved, with every byte migrated forward into new media evey five years. For backup, the whole Internet Archive is mirrored at the new Bibliotheca Alexadrina in Egypt and in Amsterdam. ("So our earthquake zone archive is backed up in the turbulent Mideast and a flood zone. I won’t sleep well until there are five or six backup sites.")
Speaking of institutional longevity, Kahle noted during the Q & A that nonprofits demonstrably live much longer than businesses. It might be it’s because they have softer edges, he surmised, or that they’re free of the grow-or-die demands of commercial competition. Whatever the cause, they are proliferating.
A discussion about science, society, and the universe with Stephen Colbert, who is out of character, at the Kimberley Academy in Montclair, New Jersey.
Watch the news, and every day you see proof that the world is increasingly interlinked. Nowhere is too far away to matter, now.
More than ever, we need to understand how other people and events across the world affect the way we live.
Take a journey on the Knowledge Web and you see how this has always been true. The modern world was shaped because of the way people and things in the past were connected.
Thanks to information technology and easier access, today’s global interactivity is also beginning to involve many more people. For the first time, everybody makes an impact.
The Knowledge Web provides an opportunity for users of all kinds and ages and interests to learn about how interactivity works. It offers the chance to experience history the way the players at the time did: full of surprise twists and turns, accidents, discoveries, friends and foes. Above all, the K-Web reveals how they never knew what was coming next. Just like you.
The Knowledge Web also shows how all knowledge is interlinked, and how applying K-Web techniques to your own situation can help you to second-guess your own future—as an individual, or a community, or a company.
Quantum computing genius and Oxford don David Deutsch is a thinker of such scale and audaciousness he can take your breath away. His bottom line is simple and breathtaking all at once.
It’s this: human beings are the most important entities in the universe. Or as Deutsch might have it, in the “multiverse.” For eons, little changed on this planet, he says. Progress was a joke. But once we got the Enlightenment and the scientific revolution, our powers of inquiry and discovery became infinite. Without limit.
Astronomer Royal Professor Martin Rees explores the challenges facing science in the 21st century. In his final lecture he urges the UK to stay at the forefront of global scientific research and discovery. And he warns against the dangers of letting technology run away with us. Only if we refocus our energies on the long term, will we save ourselves and our planet.
Astronomer Royal Martin Rees explores the challenges facing science in the 21st century. In his third lecture from his professional home, the Royal Society in London, he explores What We’ll Never Know.
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