Larry Sanger, founder of Wikipedia, deems the term “what we all know” background knowledge that will allow anyone to become knowledgeable in any area. It allows individuals to know about any topic or subject, therefore coining the term “politics of knowledge”, according to Sanger. In short, politics of knowledge is the spread of knowledge or information to anyone, not just professionals, or elites. This allows for the common people or person to know the same information as professionals and academics, however, this egalitarianism about knowledge gives us a “collective authority” that was not available to us before. We are able to pass on this acquired knowledge which can give anyone the power to, as Sanger wrote, “determine society’s background knowledge”.
The idea that politics of knowledge has taken over the dependency of relying on professionals for information and knowledge can be beneficial as well as a drawback. By increasing our information of “what we know”, we are also decreasing our reliance and trust into actual professionals who dedicate their time to actually learning about that information. This isn’t to say that our background knowledge is not valid, only that the democratization of knowledge can be distributed between common individuals and academic professionals to form “common knowledge”, according to Wikipedia.
There are different methods of obtaining this information, however, the most prominent one, according to Wikipedia, are libraries because they store all information that is accessible to the public. Every piece of information to rely on is in public libraries since they provide information in different formats, digital and electronic which means that all of that acquired information will not be forgotten. In the podcast titled Right to Be Forgotten, Molly Webster, a reporter for the New York public radio, brings up the idea that some knowledge can be erased and forgotten but it really can’t. Being able to accept the mistakes one did and own up to it is the perfect way to, as Deborah Dwyer phrased, “clean up everyone’s past”. Accepting the background knowledge of past mistakes allows for new and improved politics of knowledge to be more open and welcoming for everyone.