Monday, 2 July 2012

Wikipedia and the triumph of human knowledge

I see Wikipedia as one of the great triumphs of human technology. After celebrating its 10th year anniversary last year, it never ceases to grow.

"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable" (Isaac Asimov).
It's is becoming a fact that science fiction often turns into science (at least since the vast technology leaps of the 20th century). Dan Simmons prophesied the DataSphere in his Hyperion book series, a self-aware network encompassing the complete human knowledge. This is what the Internet is rapidly becoming, and Wikipedia is taking a huge part in it.
Alongside the knowledge revolution, in the past few years we have been witnessing the  reverse process of the the print revolution from the 1400s. Electronic books are taking over not-so-slowly. Amazon now admits to sell more electronic Kindle books than printed ones. 
Even the printed version of the great Encyclopædia Britannica was discontinued this year (2012) after 244 years of print! As you can see in the infographic below, Wikipedia currently contains enough English articles to fill 952 volumes of Encyclopædia Britannica (the printed encyclopaedia has merely 32 volumes). The era of digital of knowledge is present..

Here is an informative infographic with a few interesting statistics about Wikipedia. I have received it privately with a request to share. I gladly agreed.



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