Throughout the course of human history, information has always been a significant force alongside water, air, and food, serving as one of the foundations for the development of civilization.
The allure of information lies not only in its practicality but also in its close connection to our innate curiosity about the unknown.
The thirst for information seems to be an inherent gift of humanity. With information, our ancient ancestors learned to find food, avoid risks, and draw lessons from the experiences of others. Guided by information, humans have also deepened their self-awareness and constructed a map of their relationship with the world.
As time passes, information condenses into knowledge, endowing humanity with deeper insights and control over life.
Tom White wrote in Curation as a Cure:
I am an information junkie.
From reading myriad newsletters to scribbling countless notes, finishing a book every two weeks to zipping through podcasts at 2x speed, I increase the quantity/quality of my inputs so as to improve my outputs. I love nothing more than burnishing my thinking by grappling with my preconceived notions and rudimentary theses.
I view knowledge as an immense privilege. This reverence for wisdom was inculcated from a very young age. A favorite quote from my late grandfather, John T. Landers, reads: "Education is the lightest burden you will ever carry." This belief has served as my intellectual North Star for as long as I can remember.
Human society, culture, and language are built and developed through the exchange and sharing of information. Society is a collective composed of individuals, and its power comes from the unity among its members and the free flow of knowledge. Culture, on the other hand, consists of a set of rules for living, and its continuity requires individuals to constantly explore, experiment, and share their findings with others. Language, as a tool for communicating ideas and sharing knowledge, is an indispensable part of social and cultural development. Through language, people can transmit and receive information, thereby promoting the accumulation of knowledge and the progress of society.
Technological advancements and changes in the external environment also drive the evolution of society, culture, and language. For example, as society develops, people need more complex communication systems to convey a wider range of information and achieve more complex social goals. At the same time, society and culture influence the vocabulary we use, and what we say, in turn, influences society and culture, forming a cycle. Social norms and practices influence how people communicate, and by studying how people interact with each other, we can infer their relationships and social status.
Furthermore, language is not merely a series of symbols or signs; it becomes a building block for transmitting culture by enabling people to share beliefs, concerns, perceptions, expectations, experiences, and knowledge. The relationship between language and culture is so close that users of different languages may perceive the world in different ways.
Although language is constantly changing, the search and sharing of information remain at the core of our progress. Through language, we can transmit and receive information, thereby promoting the accumulation of knowledge and the progress of society. This exchange and sharing of information are the key driving forces behind cultural evolution and social development, always serving as the cornerstone for advancing human civilization.