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Information explorers of the future

Posted by kiwiscanfly on June 5, 2007

clipped from www.extremetech.com
“So if you were researching something, you’d have to pull out a rack in the card catalog according to the alphabetized subject and flip through the cards. If you got lucky, the title of a book or a brief description would point you in the right direction. Then you had to actually find the book, skim through it, and hope that you’d find some information.


I know what you’re thinking about now: you’ve got to be freaking kidding me.


–Bill Harris, Dubious Quality

In the old days—the 1980s—finding what seemed like a relevant piece of information was like digging up gold. But sometimes it was fool’s gold, and it was often difficult to tell what information was good and what wasn’t. We had to rely on editors and peer review to uncover bad information. Even then, bad information would propagate, and would often take years to correct.


These days, we get upset when network news doesn’t correct factual errors in real time.

  blog it
“I think also think that the baby boomers tend to view information as simply words, pictures and diagrams. My older daughter regards information as something that’s mutable, and that flows, not as something fixed and chiseled in stone. We see that on the Internet, too, as people experiment with mashups of different media, with information (data) mixing freely with algorithms to create different ways of looking at the world.”

“It’s true that today’s kids don’t have to hunt down kernels of information as if they’re ancient Cro-Magnon scrounging for roots and berries. Instead, it seems to be replacing those hunting-and-gathering skills with the ability to synthesize and combine information in ways that my own Baby Boomer mind can’t always grasp.”

“Editors, synthesizers, and creators. That’s the new generation. They’ll no longer have hunt and gather for precious bits of information. Instead, they’ll be able to build something new and—we can hope—better.”

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