When Knowledge Explodes
Current discussions of educational systems and reforms, and the question of whether the internet increased our access to knowledge or set us on a path towards “digital dementia,” are still predicated on a fifty-year old paradigm: for decades, we have lived with the assumption that our knowledge is growing exponentially, that it doubles every ten or fifteen years, and that the time it takes for our knowledge to double will further decrease in the future. But we gradually have reason to believe that we don’t always know more, and that our knowledge is growing slower than expected. The reason for this lies not in the failure of education or in the alleged dumbing-down of the masses through permanent media and internet consumption, but in the process of knowledge production itself. This realization has far-reaching consequences that touch on debates about systems of knowledge transmission, education, and teaching.