Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 19, Issue 11/12, 2009

Towards Universal Civilizations

Wit Hubert
Pages 61-67

Experts and Laymen in the Battle for Information, Opening of Access to Knowledge and Wisdom Via the Internet

The subject of the article encompasses the change in social communication concerning the creation of new competition between two knowledge systems: the expert system and the system of dispersed knowledge. The expert model is the one in which knowledge is created only by the sender endowed with institutional authority. In opposition to this, there exist an alternative model which is characterized by so many existing decentralized, not-institutionalized centers of information processing and dissemination. This division can be described only in a strictly informative dimension. Social aspect is also important, more precisely the question of social stratification forming on the basis of access criteria to every source of knowledge defined this way. The article tries to describe the relation between the worlds of: producers and consumers of information, experts and laymen, professionals and amateurs. The analysis of the problem, in author’s mind, is the beginning of the debate over the role and forms of scientific knowledge protection functioning in the time of development of information society.