Chapter 1 - The Future

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The Future

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UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

1. The age of instant communication

   The world has developed an amazing ability to store information and make it available instantly in different forms to almost anyone. That ability is revolutionizing business, education, home life, employment, management and virtually everything else we take for granted.
  Our homes will reemerge as vital centers of learning, work and entertainment. The impact of that sentence alone will transform our schools, our businesses, our shopping centers, our offices, our cities - in many ways our entire concept of work.
  Our ability to communicate is one of our key human traits.
  Most scientists say the world has existed for 4,500 million years,
1 that humans in somewhere near their present form have been here for maybe two million years, and as "modern humans" for 35,000 to 50,000 years. Yet our ancestors - whatever arguments exist over their origins - did not invent any form of writing until 6,000 years ago.
  It took another 2,000 years before they created the first alphabet - the unique concept that eventually enabled all knowledge to be recorded by rearranging only 26 symbols. But not until the 11th century AD did the Chinese start printing books. And it was not until 1451 that German inventor Johannes Gutenburg printed the first European book: transforming our ability to store and communicate knowledge by making the printed word available to millions. "Before Gutenberg, there were only about 30,000 books on the entire continent of Europe. By 1500, there were more than 9 million."
2
  Not until the last hundred-odd years did we start to speed up the process: the first typewriter in 1872, the first telephone message in 1876, the first typesetting machine in 1884, silent movies in 1894, the first radio signals in 1895, talking movies in 1922, infant television in 1926 and the computer microprocessor and pocket calculator in 1971. Since then the communications revolution has exploded.
  The world is becoming one gigantic information exchange. By 1988 a single fiber optic "cable" could carry 3,000 electronic messages at once. By 1996: 1.5 million. By 2000: 10 million.
3
  In a typical year the world produces over 800,000 different book-titles.
4 If you read one a day, it would take you well over 2,000 years to complete them all. But what if you could automatically select only the information you want, when you want it, and have it fed to you through  

 

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