We live in a world of communication – everyone gets information about everyone else. There is universal comparison and you don’t just compare yourself with the people next door, you compare yourself to people all over the world and with what is being presented as the decent, proper and dignified life. It’s the crime of humiliation.
My idea here is that, inasmuch as certain cognitive tasks and principles are tied to nature’s laws, these tasks and principles are indifferent to language, culture, gender, or the particular mode of information that is provided.
The job of the press is to encourage debate, not to supply the public with information.
Computer games tend to be boys’ games, warlike games with more violence. We have not spent enough time thinking through how to encourage more girls to be involved in computing before coming to college so they can see a possible career in information technology.
I want to continue to strengthen Harvard’s fabulous collections in old printed material, but at the same time, I want to help Harvard move into the world of digitized information.
The unlimited replication of information is generally a public good.
All information belongs to everybody all the time. It should be available. It should be accessible to the child, to the woman, to the man, to the old person, to the semiliterate, to the presidents of universities, to everyone. It should be open.
Today, if you have an Internet connection, you have at your fingertips an amount of information previously available only to those with access to the world’s greatest libraries – indeed, in most respects what is available through the Internet dwarfs those libraries, and it is incomparably easier to find what you need.
Next time you open the paper, and you see an intellectual property decision, a telecoms decision, it’s not about something small and technical. It is about the future of the freedom to be as social beings with each other, and the way information, knowledge and culture will be produced.
Profound changes to how children access vast information is yielding new forms of peer-to-peer and individual-guided learning.