Peter M Howard ::

wintermute.com.au

The Universal Library

02December2005 [myth]
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A follow-up of sorts to Turing’s Cathedral from George Dyson. The Universal Library talks about some of the implications of Google Book Search project. It gets at one of the problems that’s been nagging me for a couple weeks now: that most books aren’t about ‘search’. Dyson concludes that, of course, we still need authors. And a couple interesting quotes:

In their combination of mortal, physical embodiment with immortal, disembodied knowledge, books are the mirror of ourselves. Books are not mere physical objects. They have a life of their own. Wholesale scanning, we fear, will strip our books of their souls.

The Universal Library promises us a repository for the souls of all existing books - and the resurrection of all titles that have gone extinct.

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