Abstract - The Information Society 12(1)

Internet: Which future for organized knowledge, Frankenstein or Pygmalion?

Luciano Floridi

The word "Internet" usually refers to the international system of digital communication, emerging from the agglomerate of thousands of networks that interact through a number of common protocols all over the world. As a supervening entity, the Internet is an epiphenomeon that cannot be physically perceived, or meaningfully located in space or time, over and above the set of interacting networks that constitute it. It is a collaborative initiative, a set of services and resources, and each network that is a part of it is accountable only for its own proper functioning. The growth of a network of information and communication has already caused or will soon give rise to new problems. There are 10 questions addressing this that are worthy of attention: 1. the digital discrimination, 2. the disappearance of the great compilers, 3. the emergence of the computerized scholar, 4. stored knowledge is greater than knowledge accessible, 5. knowledge accessible is greater than knowledge manageable, 6. the digital parricide, 7. no epiphany on paper, 8. the new language of the encyclopedia, 9. intellectual space, and 10. decentralization versus fragmentation.

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