The Realm of Uber-Knowledge (and it’s mostly free)

Welcome to the 21st century, where knowledge abounds at one’s finger tips – often for free….

To many people, technology means video games, music, Twitter, Facebook, and email.  While these are great tools, I fear most of us under use the greater capabilities of the Internet that are now available to us.

Less than 20 years ago, the Dead Sea Scrolls (discovered in 1947, 45 years before) were almost completely unknown to people, including most scholars.  With the exception of a few scrolls that had been translated, thousands of scrolls and fragments still remained sequestered in the clutches of an elite few.  Suddenly, technology allowed scholars and students to reproduce some texts by using a published index of each word.  Then, high quality photographs of the scrolls were soon released.  The scrolls were freed, and in the last 20 years, the majority of the scrolls have been translated and given to the world.

BYU had an early hand in digitizing the texts, and using new technologies to “see” text that had faded over the millennia.  Now, Google is beginning to put the scrolls online for free:

5 Dead Sea Scrolls now online

This is just one example of the free information now available to us online. Want to take some college level courses for free and no hassle of taking tests? Try Stanford, Cornell  MIT, or several others:

Free College Courses online

How about Yale’s Free Open Courses?  Here you go!

College too advanced for you? Then try the free high school courses that are praised and sponsored by Bill Gates. Try Sal Khan Academy. Schools now use his free videos to help teach kids in math, science, etc.

If you like reading, try the thousands of free classics at Project Gutenberg.

You love reading LDS books, but are too cheap to spend hundreds of dollars a year on them, and don’t live near a Utah library to borrow them?  For 5 bucks a month, Deseret Book will let you go online to Gospel Link and read hundreds of books on their list.  You can try them out for free for a month.

Of course, this does not include the thousands of websites and blogs on science, history, politics, literature, religion, etc.  My own blog that covers the Sunday School Gospel Doctrine  lessons has more than 5000 views a month.

Twenty years ago, most people did not have access to the Internet. Like with the Dead Sea Scrolls, most people had limited access to great volumes of ancient and modern knowledge and information.  Now there is little reason why people cannot become great thinkers and readers.

What are some of your favorite sites for learning?  (And no, video games and Facebook do not count.)

9 thoughts on “The Realm of Uber-Knowledge (and it’s mostly free)

  1. There are literally hundreds of books for free at the Mises institute. With an ipad and access to Gutenberg and Mises, I have not had to pay for a book in many months, and in the past I would buy several new books a month. So, not so great for the printing industry if everybody does this, but very, very good for the Geoff B family budget.

    http://mises.org/literature.aspx

  2. Mike,

    This is America, not Germany. We don’t üse ümlauts here. Last I looked, they are not in the Constitütion, so are obvioüsly unconstitütional. ;)

    BTW, are yoü a descendant of Wyman Myner Parker, born 1828, wife Martha Simmons? If so, hello coüsin!

  3. GospeLink library used to be available on CD but they stopped offering that in favor of milking users with a monthly subscription fee. Glad I still have my GospeLink 2001 CDs.

  4. I have not found a way to get Gospelink 2001 to work on Win7. In fact, they say they do not support it. So, while it works on my XP desktop, it won’t on my Win7 starter netbook. Eventually, the technology will make the 2001 CDs obsolete shiny frisbees.

  5. biblos.com was an incredible revelation for me in my Bible study. Dozens of translations side by side in very easy to navigate formats. Several well known bible commentaries accessible below every verse, and every word with instant definitions in Greek or Hebrew.

    ancestry.com is fantastic for amateur geneologists, increasingly popular among Mormons, so there are tons of photos and life histories available for instant access for a minimal fee. familysearch.org may be better for straight temple work, but if you want to have a very fun, accessible database of shared stories and photos, use ancestry.com

  6. Thanks, Nate. Yes, I use Biblos quite frequently in my research for my Gospel Doctrine blogging.

    During the days when I was an avid genealogist (no time now), I used Ancestry.com a lot. I also used other sites on the Web to find centuries worth of ancestry lines. I have German-Russian ancestry and could not find anything at all until I came across their heritage sites online.

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