> I now suspect that within 20 years, *all* the information currently found
> in print-only format will be no more useful in that form than the
> collection of
> mostly sermons in the stacks at Yale. spike
Although most information held within those books will be quite of little use to most, I fear that we'll wait till it's too late. There are a whole many books which do exist only once. If we assume that even the most insignificant book holds at least a bit of useful information, why do we risk the destruction of it by not replicating it's contents? 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.
BTW: The burning of books reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 ...