Information Is Power. 99% of the information that sets your reality comes from others. Throughout human history, access to information was limited. Elite groups controlled the messaging in society that mediated universal experience. Then the internet changed everything.
Human History is Limited Information
Imagine yourself in the shoes of someone living before the invention of mass printing. Books and libraries are available only to kings and scholars, meticulously hand-copied by quill. How do you see the world? Your only information source as an average person is a priest for whatever religion the country’s ruler chose. Perhaps the country’s ruler is the religion. You know that, as a peasant, you are subservient to a superior class, and that’s the way things are supposed to be.
Now, imagine yourself sometime after the printing press spread published books across the world. You’re even lucky enough to be able to read. You can find books in grand libraries, shops in major cities, and universities. But if something is not available locally, you have no access to it. You don’t know what books have been written, and have no way of knowing. You can learn from what’s available to you.
As technology improves, so does information access. The radio brings new and instant access to information that does not have to be broadcast locally. Better still, you can get live information feeds. Daily newspapers provide information about world events. Television becomes widespread, but you have fewer channels available than fingers on your hands. Even with live and recorded information available from all over the world, there’s still a small handful of options.
And this small handful provides the information that sets your reality.
The Internet Changed Everything
Fast-forward to the present. Right now you’re reading this on a computer or mobile device that has access to practically everything ever known or recorded in human history. You can choose to get information on absolutely anything – and no one has the power to stop you. (Thanks for reading here, by the way). A quick web search will give you thousands of sources on anything you want to learn about. Social media will give you a running live commentary from billions of people around the world on anything you choose. If you find someone interesting, you can communicate with them instantly – no matter where they are physically. And you can choose how you want to interact with anything: text, audio, image, video. Like it enough, and you can share it with your friends, family, colleagues, classmates – instantly.
Now, nobody can control your information. Unless you let them.