The internet is a glorious thing in so many different ways. It has put a degree of power in the hands of ordinary people that would have previously been thought unimaginable. Maybe the most impressive thing about the internet is that it has made an enormous proportion of the world’s knowledge available to everyone more-or-less for free. In addition to knowledge — which includes everything from books and movies to scientific papers and recordings of lectures given at top universities — there are all sorts of other free services online that can be of great benefit to people.
One Redditor, going by the handle Redditor_2017, decided to start a thread on Reddit recently in which he asked the community, “What free things online should everyone take advantage of?” He was given a few amazing answers.
Here are just some of them.
1. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a campaign to upload all kinds of classic books on all sorts of subjects to the internet to make them available for free. The project takes its name from Johannes Gutenberg, the famous inventor of movable type whose work introduced the printing revolution to Europe.
2. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Many people know Dolly Parton as a world-famous country singer. But she’s done many things besides achieving immortal fame in that field. Did you know that she started an online children’s library and reading service? Anyone who signs up a child under 5 years old can get an appropriate children’s book in the mail once per month. This is all free!
3. The Khan Academy
Salman Khan, the founder of the Khan Academy, is a polymath who has taught students everything from calculus and physics, to chemistry and economics — all online and for free. To date, he has produced more than 6,500 instructional videos, so you can use the Khan Academy to learn about almost anything.
College students know well that the textbook market is simply a racket. Not only that but when major scientific journals hide their articles behind paywalls, they restrict the public’s access to knowledge and turn scientists into a kind of insider’s guild. Sci-Hub works to undo that. With Sci-Hub, you can find all kinds of scientific papers and digital versions of college textbooks for free.
5. My 90s TV
Nostalgia for the ’90s is a big thing among millennials these days. But with My 90s TV, you can recreate the feeling of watching TV in the ’90s. The site is linked to all manner of YouTube videos from that time. You can choose whatever topic and year you want and spend hours watching ’90s movies, music videos, news reports and more.
Equivalent websites for the ’80s and ’70s are also available.