In an oral culture, there is no way to "look up" anything. "Look up" is an empty expression, referring to nothing at all. From a lecture by Walter J. Ong
In 2006, the amount of digital information created, captured, and replicated was 1,288 x 1018 bits … This is about 3 million times the information in all the books ever written. From The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe
For most of human history, the brain was the sole platform for the storage of information and the voice was its only means of transmission. Your cave-drawing ancestors made an unfathomable leap when they severed the fruit of their thought from the tree of their biology. Today's net-connected Homo sapien is a virtual cyborg. Her mind has instant access to more information outside her brain than within it.
I propose that virtual worlds such as Second Life are facilitating an analogous leap for bodies. Drawing and writing provided the means for thoughts to escape the confines of biology and extend through time and space. The avatar provides the means for self-identity to escape the boundaries of flesh-and-blood skin.
From the upcoming Fortune Cookie Wisdom of Botgirl. Q.