Just a few years ago knowledge and information was reserved in libraries. Development started to show an increasing pace and this stored information became out-of-date. Education tried to keep up, so they focused on lexical knowledge and they tried to make students memorisinig whole books of data. Also before the internet you could get up-to-date information only from experts personally, which gave plenty of opportunities for example to corruption to thrive.
Nowadays you can get information from multiple sources in multiple forms. Moreover, the content is authored by us. It is a dynamic, ever developing and changing, living mass of information.
I think that is why the ‘roles of fan and academic’ can merge, as Jenkins says (page 5, 2006)*.
Nowadays, you can be an expert of anything. There aren’t any topics for expertism embarrassing enough not to be useful for a company or an organisation in some way.
How virus spreads from cell to cell, information and the lust of making some kind of art is borrowing our mind to use it as a vehicle. ‘Art as virus‘ spreads and connects us in a rather benefitial way. New technology allows us to cooperate in many levels.
Susan Blackmore speaks on TED.COM about a very interesting concept of ‘memes and temes’, ‘ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus’.
Jenkins, H., 2006. Fans, bloggers, and gamers : exploring participatory culture, New York: New York University Press.