We cannot look at the 2020 workplace merely from the perspective of what will be different from today, as if these five years will pass in splendid isolation. How we think of work has changed over the millennia and one major factor has been our communications technologies. When communication changes, work does too, as well as our understanding of what is knowledge, and what it means to be knowledgeable.
When our various civilizations shifted from a predominantly oral society to the rule of the written word, we saw the rise of kingdoms and institutions. The age in which Socrates was able to guide discourse in the open agora was slowly replaced by structured academies, in the spirit of Plato. But Socrates felt that men who relied on written words would be a burden to their fellow men, as these artifacts would give them the ‘conceit of wisdom’. Despite Socrates’ reported concerns, the written word dominated for over 2,000 years.