Thursday, September 01, 2005

Move Over Ipod

As the cost of data continually decreases, will there soon be hand-held searchable libraries in the form of an I-Pod (called an I-Lib)? Such a product would be extremely useful to consumers, businesses, educational institutions, and students. A world of research would literally be at the tip of the fingers.

If such a product is developed, I would image radical changes in the way education takes place in this country. With such information readily available and searchable (possibly with an advanced key-word search), a research based learning environment could supplement or even replace the lecture based or socratic models.

Such a product could also do one of two things: (1) excacerbate the informational advantages of specialists, if such a produce was narrowly tailored for each profession (doctor, lawyer, rabbi, priest, and engineeenr for example); or (2) it may blur some of the informational advantages that specialists possess.

Whether route (1) or (2) will occur will depend on the how adept indvididuals become at quick and high speed research. My inclination, however, is that (2) would trump (1).

How many years before such a product would be available? 10 years? Maybe less.

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