Accessing the wisdom of the ages will soon be easier

In a mind-boggling move, search giant Google has managed to seal a partnership with knowledge giants “Harvard University, The University of Michigan, Stanford University, Oxford University, and The New York Public Library” to–now think about this–scan some 50 million of their book titles and make them searchable on the Internet.

Just stop for a minute. Let that soak in. I remember a panel discussion in which Case Western Reserve University’s IT guru Lev Gonick stated that bricks-and-mortar universities that did not begin immediately to participate in the electronic age would soon have no reason to exist.

Today that day looks to be getting uncomfortably closer. As jobs continue to evaporate, and fragile operating margins continue driving business owners to slim down payrolls, cut out inefficiencies, double up job duties, now comes nothing less than simple, complete access for all people all over the globe to some of the world’s greatest accumulated repositories of knowledge.

Perhaps the “degree” of the future will become a personalized label you make up for yourself based on what you’ve chosen to study out of love and desire. Perhaps a new category of job will come into being–instead of teachers we’ll have “degree consultants” who’ll guide you in your learning choices so that your education doesn’t become too narrow.

Our world is changing so rapidly we can’t afford to blink–or we’re guaranteed to miss something important and exciting. The trick, as always, will be to maintain our connection to the deeper parts of ourselves…to nature and to spirit…and not get lost in the race for more information.

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