Unbalanced distribution of knowledge
Inequiteable distribtion of knowledge
While the complexities of global life require more internationally oriented knowledge as well as knowledge of basic and behavioural sciences and applied technology, such knowledge is poorly distributed. In the main, information is delivered through school-situated learning and in the adult years, mass media (particularly newspapers, magazines, videos and radio and television broadcasts) provide the distribution. In addition, books are important. These include textbooks, reference works, research publications and non-fiction works as well as literature. All of these sources, however, are subject to filtering, selection and even censorship on the part of their creators and deliverers. Individuals and countries who lack economic advantage have limited access, and this places another obstacle in the way of their development.
The distribution of knowledge gives us an indication of how the economic and social differences of today will be reproduced in future generations. Still more so if the unequal distribution of scientific research, experimentation with technology and theoretical thinking is considered. If income distribution is generally poor at both the international and national level, then it has to be said that the distribution of knowledge is still worse. If the ratio between the bottom and top quintile at the international level is 0.007 to 92.40 for income distribution, rough calculations based on UNESCO data show that spending per student on education is 0.001 for the bottom quintile in relation to a 95.5 concentration in the rich countries.
World book production was estimated as 546,000 titles in 1970: Africa 8,000 (23 titles per million inhabitants), North America 90,000 (280 per million), South America 15,000 (79 per million), Asia 100,000 (49 per million), Europe 247,000 (535 per million), Oceania 7,000 (361 per million), USSR 79,000 (329 per million).