In this country and in this era, it is taken for granted that one will go to college for an education. Five-hundred years ago, this was not the case. In fact, not only was a college education uncommon, the style of the education was vastly different. In his article From Gutenberg to the Internet Jeremy Norman discusses how at least one school of Oxford contained benches only, and not desks. Written works were scarce and could usually be no more than borrowed. Students were expected to memorize and regurgitate with little to no aid of such works. Such a practice is nearly unimaginable by today’s standards. However, with the invention of the printing press, that changed (albeit very slowly). Now, we find ourselves in an era of abundant books, electronic devices, and the internet. However, is it possible that such a technological advancement is becoming a hindrance to society? Nearly anyone can go to college and almost any information can be found in a few keystrokes. Knowledge seems to be stored less in one’s brain and more in a keyboard. One could argue that knowledge is actually little known.
Now some would argue that memorization, as was done hundreds of years ago, is not indicative of intelligence. I might even be inclined to agree. However, I also think that having little knowledge stored in our heads and only on electronic devices makes for a dangerous turn. If information is so easily accessed, what is the value in knowing it? Hundreds of years ago, to have the opportunity to attend college, and to have a printed work, was unique. Now it is taken for granted. All-accessible information fuels a society of instant gratification. No doubt it is convenient, even valuable, to be able to look up information at will. But when it gets to the point that information is no longer known, but looked up, it becomes problematic. The ability to communicate and interact becomes hindered and society as a whole becomes affected. Knowledge is a good thing, but the laws of supply and demand still hold. A glut of information decreases its value.