Google and the Human Spirit

Kevin Drum, Washington Monthly, Jan 14, 2005
Commentary by Stephen Downes

In a column in the Los Angeles times American Library Association president, Michael Gorman, calls on Google to forget about digitizing books. Gorman writes, "Massive databases of digitized whole books, especially scholarly books, are expensive exercises in futility based on the staggering notion that, for the first time in history, one form of communication (electronic) will supplant and obliterate all previous forms." Gorman - perhaps not familiar with clay tablets - gets his history wrong. But more to the point, as Drum comments, his proposal "bespeaks a paucity of both spirit and vision that's staggering." Some people - myslef, for example - do not have easy access to research libraries (a hopelessly content-challenged Chapters hardly counts). It's digital content or nothing. Via TeleRead.
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