Information Reformation

Image for post
Image for post

INFORMATION REFORMATION

Every October 31, we observe the anniversary of the German Reformation. Presently, there is a lot of talk about the Internet Explosion. There are several significant similarities between the two.

Indeed, one could call it the “.”

HIGHLIGHTS:

1) Common Language:

  • Luther made previously exclusive information accessible to the common man by publishing in the common language (German), not the language of scholars (Latin).
  • With the aid of graphical tools like Mosaic, Netscape or the HotJava browsers (a Java-based browser from Sun), anyone can easily read the Internet and discover new information without knowing classical Geek.

2) Common Format:

  • Luther published pamphlets, extending the existing single page “broadside” to multiple pages in quarto and octavo sizes. He featured pictures using the finest woodcuts and engravings of the times.
  • Graphical Web browsers that take advantage of open, standard HTML make information pictorial and, with advanced Java capabilities, dynamic, and multimedia.

3) Mass Distribution:

Image for post
Image for post
  • Luther’s 95 Theses, with the aid of the movable type printing press invented a few decades before his birth, were distributed to the masses. Within two weeks, it had spread throughout Germany. Within a month, it was all over Europe. By the end of the year, it had spread beyond the Holy Roman Empire.
  • With the availability of interconnected computer networks, like those offered by Sun, information is quickly distributed all over the World Wide Web.

4) Unprecedented Growth:

  • Between 1517 and 1523, publications in Germany increased 7 times. Half were Luther’s writings.
  • The growth of the Internet and the availability of information on the Web has grown phenomenally, with a growth curve that appears almost biological.

5) Broadcast Marketing

  • Luther took advantage of the new printing press to “evangelize” his views on theology and detract from his competitors with his pamphlets.
  • Many companies, organizations, and individuals now take advantage of Internet home pages to “market” and promote their product, offerings, and views.
Image for post
Image for post

Thus it is with the spread of the Internet. So one could say we’re currently experiencing more than an Internet Explosion or Revolution, but an .

Bill Petro, your friendly neighborhood historian
www.billpetro.com

Silicon Valley Tech Exec: Cloud, Data Storage, Automation. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, andpop culture. Blog: http://billpetro.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store