Why are we able to find things ?
I believe our ability to find things, is directly a result of what and who we have access to, in the present or in the past. For instance I’m able to find most things related to computer science, because in the past I’ve studied computer science, prior to that I was in a home situation from a very early age that afforded me access to a computer, prior to that I was in a situation in which I had access to someone that taught me to read. Without these bridges, I would never be able to find something related to for instance minimum spanning trees or any number of topics in computer science , rather narrowly or broadly. I wouldn’t be privy to that world, no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t dream up the words O(n) notation without surpassing the barrier of access.
The internet, is largely responsible for removing barriers and allowing people to gain access. However, one big aspect that I feel hasn’t been quite addressed is the way that we remove the access barriers. The access barriers, I’m talking about are the hardest to overcome by yourself, the barrier of small-world, self fufilling prophecy, I live in this region and do this particular thing barrier.
For instance, I currently have only the faintest way to access, the world in which a person like Michu Kaku exists, I even only know of this particular segment, because of the past access barriers that were overturned. First I had to know science, then I had to exist in a particular point in time in which his brand of science was trending, I had to pay attention to ads, etc… to draw my attention to it, and finally have that culminate in me buying his book. With all those barriers removed, I can now being the search for things that he may know or have access to.
We talk of the internet being an open forum, the wild west, yet we have reccomendation algorithms, that will find me stuck in this bias, of only living in the world, that I already have access to. Probably only within 1-2 degrees of separation from the world I exist in daily. Yet, I theorize that the thing that expands minds, that changes perceptions are litany of different often dissonant ideas and exposure to them, however how can you expect to find new ideas , new sparks, without removing yourself from the circle you exist in daily.
I want to be a space explorer, I want to explore ideas, and yet I don’t have tools to do that adequately, not to take that venture unknown step.