That said, I take great pride in regaling friends, family and often times random strangers with curious bits of fascinating science such as:
"did you know that you and the sun exist because suns before that one have died.?"
"did you know that you and that squirrel are greater than 50% genetically identical?"
"did you know that the brain you have, developed thanks to an accident of our ancient ancestor happening to live on both sides of what would be a great geological rift?"
Depending on the party, the responses range from apathy to interest, a few times I find absolute fascination in the listener as they try to wrap their mind around what I've shared with them. It is in these exercises that I realize just how many people lack even the rudiments of understanding of what I long ago realized to be simple truths. In order to be effective as teachers of science we must take heed of this difference in the vast gulf of knowledge that spans between us and those we seek to teach. To say this is not a statement of arrogance it is one of fact but by being insensitive to the difference we can end up in a fight instead of inspiring fascination. As the world population increases and those with the position to teach the truths of reality reduces in relative proportion, we must be even more careful not to inflame the fires of nascent and latent ignorance in the masses into rage.
At times, I've wondered if the internet, this super network of knowledge nodes spanning the globe would slow the progress of ignorance through the masses. I've concluded that it can, but it will do so only if the information is available to the masses. It is entirely easy to never find something if you never go looking for it. The preponderance of fora on a myriad range of topics online allows the cross pollination of ideas across cultures that is needed to stamp ignorance some what...but it is only effective if the silo nature of these medium is disrupted by injections of alternate views from the prevailing topic or category of fora engaged. The silo itself takes separate forms, there is a silo between entirely different languages, which necessitate translation between for distinct basis of information in each to be understood by others. There is also the silo of site architecture, which for many sites is designed to allow interaction on the site by bringing user to it, the ability to bring a site to the users could vastly enhance the usefulness of a site for cross pollinating communication on any topic. Breaking down these silos will allow a a new expedience to be realized in the rate at which knowledge is shared and spread across the world. If we can bridge the gaps of understanding we can possibly reduce the rate of advance of ignorance with population and save our future from the evil that the past has taught us is the fruit of ignorance.
In hopes of doing just that I've designed and will soon release a web application that makes this possible. Hopefully, it will be as successful as I envision at forcing individuals of different language, culture and interest into the same communication stream to excite learning of truth and diminish promulgation of ignorance. I'll be presenting more information about the application and site in the weeks to come.