About 2000 years ago, The Library of Alexandria was destroyed in a great fire, along with its great volumes of works from great thinkers such as Homer, Plato, Socrates, and many more.
It was the largest library of work in the ancient world; one of the most ambitious projects ever undergone by our ancestors. When it was destroyed, many people thought nothing like it would ever happen again.
It's happening right now. We live in the modern-day age of Alexandria because of the internet. Except now, it's not centralized in one place; it's all around us, society's infinite library.
Before this, we existed in an era of information scarcity. There was still a ton of information, but most of it was centralized in intellectual hub spots like colleges and universities inaccessible to large parts of the world. Knowledge was power. To enter a specialized industry and get a good-paying job, most boomers would tell you it was required for you to go to college.
Now, however, we live in an age of information abundance. Practically all information has been put on the internet, decentralizing knowledge in society. Right now, there are over 33 million book titles on Amazon. There are nearly 30,000 hours of video content put on YouTube every hour alone. There is more uploaded to the internet in a week than you could consume in your entire life.
Knowledge is no longer as powerful. The unique perspective you bring to knowledge is now more important.
Dina Spector wrote an article from Business Insider claiming the probability of you existing at all comes out to 1 in 102,685,000. This is a 10 followed by 2,685,000 zeroes!
Let that sink in.
There will never be another you. You are a unique combination of family, background, education, experiences, and genetics.
Your information diet is different as well. You will never consume the same combination of information as someone else. Even if you magically did, you still wouldn't get the same takeaways because of your unique perspective.
You are your own infinite library.
This doesn't mean you can consume whatever information you want and get great ideas. Reading the same things everyone else is reading will cause you to think what everyone else is thinking.
It's easy to forget we have supercomputers in our heads ready to solve incredible questions. But since most people consume trash like current news, Tik Tok, and other largely garbage things, they meld in with the crowd and waste their unique perspective.
Don't let this happen to you. Build your infinite library. Don't be afraid of reading weird things. Read a book on the history of Ancient Era agrarian societies while learning about digital marketing. Blending ideas with your perspective fosters insight.
Find the secrets no one else dares look for. Like Easter Eggs, they hide in the most obscure places. And sometimes, they are right under society's feet, invisible to the majority of the population.
Next time your conversations with friends, family, or co-workers turn shallow, don't be afraid to shuffle things up. Share some thrilling insights you had from this article. Share some ideas you had from your latest readings.
Share your Infinite Library.
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Thanks to Abe Moss, Astrid Helfant, and Rob Mosher for the conversations which helped form this essay.