In the past, we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful — into ideas that made sense of the information. We sought not just to apprehend the world but to truly comprehend it, which is the primary function of ideas. Great ideas explain the world and one another to us.
But if information was once grist for ideas, over the last decade it has become competition for them.
The implications of a society that no longer thinks big are enormous. Ideas aren’t just intellectual playthings. They have practical effects.
What the future portends is more and more information — Everests of it. There won’t be anything we won’t know. But there will be no one thinking about it.