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13506Re: [mythsoc] libraries

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  • David Bratman
    Dec 18, 2004
      Christine wrote:

      >Actually, the best long-term storage so far has been chisel on stone.
      >Though I admit you'd have to love a novel a LOT to commit it to the ages
      >this way. Paper is better than electronic storage certainly, but has been
      >distressingly liable to loss over 3000+ years.

      That's why I defined paper as the medium of choice for centuries of
      storage, not millennia. And the paper has to be properly stored and cared for.

      Even chiseling on stone will wear away. A panel at a science-fiction
      convention, asked to consider the question of how best to encode a message
      to last for millions of years, eventually decided that the most lasting and
      accurate medium would be DNA.

      Larry Swain wrote:

      >Most of us have been around long enough to remember about 8-9 years ago and
      >the buzz word of the time: "library without walls" and how the Internet was
      >going to make it possible to do away with the venerable academic library.
      >Some administrators at some big name universities were in fact advocating
      >slashing their libraries' budgets in favor of the information on the
      >Internet. You'll note no doubt that we no longer hear that buzz phrase; and
      >most library budgets haven't been slashed, but increased since publishing
      >hasn't gone wholesale into print on demand or e-publishing;

      Increased, really? That must be nice wherever you are, but in this
      country, all that's happened is that they've stopped pretending that the
      cuts aren't going to hurt.

      >Libraries, as
      >they did when back in 60s and 70s tapes, followed years later by video tape,
      >then CDs, which were all going to revoutionize data storage and put an end
      >to libraries in their day, have absorbed the Internet and made it their own.

      It's older than that. Microfilm was the Great Answer of the 1950s.
      Everything was going to be put on microfilm, and older books would no
      longer be needed.

      >No matter what media the information takes, one needs information
      >specialists to access it effectively--and that's what libraries and
      >librarians do: access a wide range of information across different media and
      >platforms more effectively than a Google search does and will.

      Sometimes a Google search is the most effective thing; sometimes it isn't.
      Sometimes commercial enterprise is the wisest way to accomplish a project;
      sometimes it isn't. The challenge is conveying to dim-minded enthusiasts
      of something that, if you think it isn't always the best way, that doesn't
      mean you're totally against it.

      Daniel Dimitroff wrote:

      > Most people have friends they can call and come over to use their computer
      > if they don't own one themselves.

      And if they can't afford to buy bread, they can go over to their friend's
      house and eat cake, yeah.

      Sorry, but that's the most ignorant and offensive suggestion possible to
      the problem of the computer-less. "Most people" indeed.

      David Bratman
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