Learn to share to learn

We've grown increasingly accustomed to people freely sharing stuff with each other over the past 5-10 years.

Even in our free time, when we could be doing anything or earning more for ourselves, people spend hours upon hours creating and curating things for others - think Wikipedia, Facebook, Quora, Stack Overflow, Twitter, and the like.  Some of this work can require a tremendous investment of time on the part of the sharer, but is for the most part completely uncompensated.

Uncompensated, that is, in a monetary sense - we all know of course that there's a transaction being made, whether it be based in reputation, prestige, attention, or the satisfaction of being altruistic.  Whatever the case, value is being conferred upon the sharer by those who consume what they're curating, creating, tweaking, editing, and commenting upon.

Why value this kind of behavior?  Because the world is awash in knowledge and content.  We're producing more and more of it all the time, but already there's more stuff out there on even the most obscure of topics than any individual could ever hope to consume.  Not to mention the quality of said content can be…varied and unpredictable.

We don't need or want to consume all content, we want to consume the right content.  Our scarce resource is now our time and attention.

Can't we just take a little more time to find the good stuff on your own?  Isn't Google good enough anymore?

Well, there's actually a bit of urgency here, especially when it comes to learning.  Given the accelerating rate at which the world is changing, if you as an individual stop taking in new skills and information or do so at a slower pace, you're going to get left behind.  It's just going to happen.  And while this has always been true to an extent, the time to obsolescence for any present day skill is becoming shorter and shorter all the time.

In order to learn the right things faster, individuals need help - we need each other.  There is enormous value in enabling groups of people who have the skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise to sift through the vast ocean of information that is the interweb and identifying what is most relevant and valuable to others.

So the future is pretty loud and clear about this.  if you want to keep up with the times, you're going to have to learn faster.  The only hope you have of doing that is by learning together.

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