Wikipedia founder: Internet can Topple Tyrants

Online encyclopedia pioneer Jimmy Wales is excited about the explosion of people online, saying it even gives those living under tyrants the power to demand change.


What's the Latest Development?

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is excited about the explosion of people with internet access: now there are about two billion people online (essentially the bulk of the developed world) and in 5-10 years the next billion people will join them. Suddenly people's access to information explodes. And the possibilities for political change are enormous, Wales says.

What's the Big Idea?

"It means they're connected, that they can organise revolutions, they can learn what's going on in other countries. I think we are going to see in some of these perpetual basket-case countries with one tyrant after another that people are finally going to have the ability to demand change. It's very exciting."

Related Articles

Why the world needs death to prosper

Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.

Surprising Science
  • Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
  • After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
  • Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
Keep reading Show less

Why birds fly south for the winter—and more about bird migration

What do we see from watching birds move across the country?

E. Fleischer
Surprising Science
  • A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
  • The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
  • Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Keep reading Show less

How does alcohol affect your brain?

Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.

(Photo by Angie Garrett/Wikimedia Commons)
Mind & Brain
  • Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
  • Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
  • Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
Keep reading Show less