Interesting to see how much comment this subject drew...and to
what extent it's already happening!
In any case, I'll admit that the idea of creating a sort of web-accessible
"ueberlibrary," where users could digitally access virtually all extant
content (not a local facility, which would only contain whatever its local
creating library owned) had never occured to me...no idea why!
One really odd thought! Certainly, there is more information being created
today (or at least more data that exists in some sort of permanent or
long-term temporary farm, anyway...) but I wonder if this isn't simply
the logical continuance of a trend that started as soon as homo sapiens
began using written languages...thus "creating information" every time
something was written...?! In other words...are we creating more information,
or merely putting more of our created information in some type of tangible
(and thus preservable) form...?
For example...our prehistoric ancestors probably did a lot of thinking
and wondering (i.e. "I wonder what that yellow thing over by the tree
is? Never saw one of THOSE before!" which only existed as a thought
and/or memory) but had no way to put that into some tangible form.
200 years ago, his/her/its descendant could have taken a pencil
and jotted "Find out about that yellow thing" on a scrap of paper,
which might or might not have survived. In the XXI Jahrhundert,
the current generation can go home and add a few lines to his/
her/its "blog" about "the yellow thing I saw earlier today"...
thus creating information at least temporarily!
So, we wind up back at the problem I first posed semi-facetiously*:
Now that we can turn any of our thoughts into "information," how
much of that is worth preservation and/or will be of interest to
anyone a few minutes/hours/days/years/wotever hence? Here, note
that if one uses an inclusive definition of "everyone," the "how
much" value rapidly rises...for example, I'm probably one of no
more than a dozen (or less?) people who cares what happened to
Radiex records after their parent company (and producer) shut
down around October, 1930...?!
*See under "Barr's Thirteenth Law Of Information"
Steven C. Barr