Re: Information & Power (was: RE: Einstein's Brain on the internet)

jonwill (
Thu, 29 Apr 1999 10:41:25 -0400

> To me, one of the greatest disasters was the burning of the Great Library at
> Alexandria. Humanity lost - in one night - the intellectual work of several
> hundreds or thousands of wise men. What would we know today if we had this
> information?
> In the medieval times, men travelled weeks or nomths to be able to read a
> book, which were stored mostly in cloisters. It sometimes seems to me that
> things did not change very much. The library of the Vatikan in Rome still
> holds one of the most important libraries of the world. Eventually, it will
> burn down the same way as did Alexandria. And all will be lost, if we do not
> change something in the way information is stored and processed.

Humanity has achieved proficient methods for dissemination of information, and thereby means for easy access to use current knowledge. Computers offer an efficient and economical way to store information, and the Internet provides a method for fast and easy access to information. However, the full potential of the Internet is not being utilized. The solution could be a master web site for each area of man's accumulated knowledge, a virtual library of all accumulated knowledge. For example, in the field of medicine, the American Medical Association, in cooperation with universities that teach in the field of medicine, could create and maintain a web site which contains all knowledge about medicine, so that anyone could access the information. Government should initiate a consortium effort in conjunction with organizations, institutions, and/or industry to create a master web site for each area of knowledge, or encourage the creation of such master web sites through financial incentives and/or financial support. Such a system has minuscule costs in comparison to the benefits that could be derived therefrom. The full power of current knowledge could be unleashed by such a universal system providing fast and easy access to Humanity's accumulated knowledge.