Tuesday, October 31, 2006

 

Is the Sky Falling?

As I was doing the readings for this week I was struck by the same theme that permeates most of the articles on the topic of digital history and historians in the digital age: fear. Fear that somehow this new more accessible system of information will overwhelm and undermine the role of historians in this brave new world. Each week I have wondered if this is an alarmist position, similar perhaps to the 'sky is falling' cries of Y2K. Is it really possible that a new form of technology and communication, regardless of how revolutionary, can so radically displace our social systems? Will this process of the democratization of knowledge be looked back on as academic secularization? As religion moved out of churches, will knowledge and learning move out of universities and libraries?

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