Welcome to the Information Workgroup.
This workgroup’s objective is to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of the many individuals and organizations around the world who are most knowledgeable about information technology to make a plausible estimate of what would be required to meet the one-time goal of providing every individual on the planet with access to the totality of humankind’s accumulated knowledge and understanding, and what would be needed thereafter to maintain its availability at that level.
The first step, therefore, is to identify those expert individuals and organization. Below is the list as it has been developed thus far. If you happen upon additional information sources that you believe will assist in this effort, please let us know by way of the CONTACT form. Or, if you would like to engage in your own line of research, let us know the results. And finally, if you feel the concept of the Whole Earth Design Project is something that you may wish to become involved in, let’s get acquainted.
The situation now:
Information Technology is at the heart of the social (r)evolution now enveloping the planet. In a competitive society, information can be used for various purposes, some not very commendable. However, a fundamental conviction underlying the WEDP is that truth and reason will prevail. The following excerpt from THE COMING GLOBAL COALESCENCE elaborates:
Presently, the overwhelming majority of the earth’s population is too consumed with their everyday struggles to give much thought to the political and economic forces that are the primary determinants of the quality of their daily existence. It is not surprising, therefore, that they are, by and large, grossly and tragically uninformed and misinformed. Most of what is widely and publicly communicated ─ such as advertising campaigns, political discourse, financial advice, and religious doctrine ─ is deliberately manipulative and misleading. This is apart from all the treachery that goes on in the shadows and behind closed doors that never sees the light of day but exacts a hidden price from society somewhere down the line.
However, out of the jangle of conflicting opinions and theories, facts and fancies, lies and deceptions, it is inevitable that truth will emerge. The truth cannot be forever suppressed, and in this age of the democratization of communication, the light is growing brighter and brighter. In the end, everything will be revealed.
What are some of the truths that will emerge? Here are a few: War is folly. Competition is wasteful. Hatred is poisonous. Lies are destructive. Ignorance is dangerous. And our leaders are unworthy.
Here are some others: Peace is possible. Cooperation is constructive. Love is uplifting. Truth is irresistible. Knowledge is powerful. And self-reliance is liberating.
While all such “truths” may well be characterized as empty platitudes lacking any meaningful social significance or consequence, it is so only because global society, as now organized, has served to poison the human ethos. We are prisoners in a suffocating, destructive social matrix that prevents the flowering of all that is good and decent in human nature.
But it is communication that will prove to be the source of our liberation. It is through communication that we will come to understand how we have been deceived, how our leaders have failed us, how we have been made to suffer needlessly, how we have been played for fools. It is through communication that we will come to see how we have been denied the benefits of human ingenuity, how we have been thwarted in our desire to live in peace, how we have been prevented from enjoying the simple pleasures of secure and bountiful lives with family, friends and neighbors. It is through communication that we will finally learn the truth that will set us free.
Call it the education of the human race.
To let us know what you have to say on this subject, go to the discussion page where The Subject Is INFORMATION.
Here are some of the experts:
Anant Agarwal is the President of edX, the Mobile Open Online Course (MOOC) website organized by MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley. (http://www.edx.org)
Meet the co-founders and president of Udacity, a MOOC website, at http://www.udacity.com/us
Meet the founders and the funders of Coursera, another MOOC site, at http://www.coursera.org/about/founders
Dr. Ray Schroeder is the director of the Center for Online Learning, Researh, and Service at the University of Illinois in Springfield. (http://www.uis.edu/colrs/about/staff)
The Learning Research Exchange (LRE) from European Schoolnet (EUN) enables school to find educational content from many different countries and providers. (http://lre.eun.org/)
Charlie Schweik, expert in public sector information technology as well as environmental conservation (https://eco.umass.edu/people/faculty/schweik-charles-m/)
Eszter Hargittai, Northwestern University, Professor & Chair of Internet Use and Society (http://www.eszter.com/)
Impact of Information Systems on Society at the University of Waterloo (https://impactofinformationsystemsonsociety.wordpress.com/)
Derrick Cogburn, American University, expert in cyberinfrastructure, global governance, global information and communication technology (https://www.american.edu/sis/faculty/dcogburn.cfm)
Laura Hosman, Arizona State University at School for the Future of Innovation in Society. Expert in green technology, information and communications technology, solar, and telecommunications (https://search.asu.edu/profile/3026700)
Manuel Castells is a leading scholar on globalization, network society, and internet studies (https://annenberg.usc.edu/faculty/manuel-castells)