Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Reason recently published an interview with Bruce Sterling. He said a number of interesting things although I found one exchange particularly interesting:

reason: It never ceases to amaze me how much material is sort of spontaneously thrown up on the Web.

Sterling: I think that’s an early response. You get this database toxicity. You go into a system like Lexis-Nexis and you put in a search word and get 60,000 hits, and you think, this is all the knowledge there is in the universe. But it’s actually 10,000 references to six different things, and the actual story is something very few people know.

reason: I think there are some positive social changes happening as a result of this spontaneous database building and Web page building. There are more and more of us who reflexively look things up.

Sterling: There is a Google blindness. It’s a kind of common wisdom generator, but it’s not necessarily going to get you to the real story of what’s actually going on.

Do librarians get to the "real story"? Or are we just as Google blind?


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