We understand King Midas wanted all the gold in the world…Napoleon all the lands in the world…Citizen Kane all the treasures in the world. In ancient Alexandria, the royal librarians wanted to house all the knowledge in the world. Which they did in thousands of precious scrolls until the infamous night in 48 BC when Julius Caesar accidentally set the great building on fire.
Inspired by the Alexandrian dream, a new organization known as the Internet Archive intends to digitally gather and organize all the news in the world!
Well, not quite. The dream is currently limited to all the news programs on all the television channels since 2009. Hardly the entire world of news; but a helluva lot nerveless. As in a bazillion files to be available to scholars all on a single web site.
Who can deny a grand dream? a grand vision? a service of grand proportions to scholars? However…! A digital bank of Dan Rathers, Katie Curics, Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzers, not to mention the inescapable Chris Matthews, Anne Coulters, Rush Limbaughs, Jon Stewarts? Well, Jon might be worth saving.
But now here’s the bloody thing. Admittedly an antiquarian “thing” by a pre-television, pre-Internet, pre-iPhone guy here. Still, he and millions of my cranky peers have this academic bone stuck in our throat. Just because we CAN do something, is it really worth doing!
When George Mallory answered the famous question “Why do you want to climb Everesr?” his celebrated answer was “Because it’s there!” Wait…! You masters-of-the-universe in Silicon Valley…! Do you mean to sit there behind all the money in North America and tell the rest of us that saving all this here-today-gone-tomorrow blathering will be a contribution?
Please, a followup. To whom…???
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