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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Literature of the World in a Warehouse in Richmond, California

I love this story about Brewster Kahle, who has taken it upon himself to create an archive for hard copies of books scanned, digitized--and then mostly discarded--by Google.  Ultimately he hopes his collection will include some ten million books.

Is there a point to Kahle's mission?  There will be if, by some quirk of history or technological evolution, we arrive at a moment when the Internet is no longer available or useable, and we suddenly realize that one of those old tomes we uploaded decades ago contains information we actually need or want.

Digital technology is great, but I for one wouldn't want to bet our entire cultural patrimony on the continued viability of any single electronic data storage and recovery system.

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