THE Internet is great. It was designed, with its peer-to-peer network, with military tolerance for any breakdown. Its open access to the dissemination of information is the greatest public library, billboard, and church door in history.
The biggest threat to the entirety of regular Internet WWW functionality is DNS, in terms of global connectivity, although any size of DNS names might be cached anywhere.
For all works in the Library of Congress to be transcribed into digital form and made available on the Internet would be a wonderful thing, and would do much to expand the breadth of human knowledge, and I might even term it a just use of tax dollars. To be sure, there are copyright issues involved, but any number of uncopyrighted works or those whose copyrights had expired could be put online. If one can go to a library and check out a copyrighted work for free, why not over the Internet? It will certainly enhance inter-library loan when more material is available for electronic request and delivery.
Besides space debris, data overload and overflow is a very large problem. There is very much. Early indexes of the net, for example, the Yahoo! server on akebono, had wise notions of categorizing and cataloging large numbers of Internet documents, and turned it into companies very high price-to-earnings ratios.
Besides everything on paper, there is a huge amount of data on crumbling magnetic tapes. The federal archives do tend to preserve that which is important, but much data that might not seem so today is lost.
Such a catastrophe as befell the great Western store of accumulated knowledge more than 2,000 years ago could not very well occur today, unless the face of the planet was razed.
The Internet is great. I use it to research every day. If there was an Internet when I was young, I would have spent much time on it. As it is, it grows every day, like kudzu.
Here's to the Library of Alexandria, and the Great Internet.
Gina Miller wrote:
> The Alexandrian Library
> ... Finally, there is the evidence given
> above for the earlier destruction of the library.
> SANDYS, A History of Classical Scholarship (Cambridge, 1903); RITSCHL,
> Opuscula Philologica, I; SUSEMIHL, Geschichte der gr. Litteratur in der
> Alexandrinerzeit (Leipzig, 1891); DZIATZKO, in PAULY-WISSOWA,
> Real-Encyclopędie, III, 409-414.
> GEORGE MELVILLE BOLLING
> Transcribed by Thomas J. Bress
> >From the Catholic Encyclopedia, copyright © 1913 by the Encyclopedia Press,
> Inc. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.
> Here's a interesting link:
> Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
> Nanotechnology Industries
> Web Page
> Alternate E-mail
> "The science of nanotechnology, solutions for the future."
> Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit http://www.msn.com
-- Ross Andrew Finlayson 202/387-8208 http://www.tomco.net/~raf/ "C is the speed of light."