03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Digital Culture Turns Everything into One Book

The approach to digital culture I abhor would indeed turn all the world’s books into one book, just as Kevin suggested. It might start to happen in the next decade or so. Google and other companies are scanning library books into the cloud in a massive Manhattan Project of cultural digitization. What happens next is what’s important. If the books in the cloud are accessed via user interfaces that encourage mashups of fragments that obscure the context and authorship of each fragment, ther...
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If we are allowed to mashup everything into newer expressions so that the original sources are lost and we cannot reference anything, then we essentially have only one book, just like North Korea.

21 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 Donald Knuth on Getting to the Source Material

Seibel: Do you feel like programmers and computer scientists are aware enough of the history of our field? It is, after all, a pretty short history. Knuth: There aren't too many that are scholars. Even when I started writing my books in 1963, I didn't think people knew what had happened In 1959. I was reading in American Scientist last week about people who had rediscovered an algorithm that Boyer and Moore had discovered in 1980. Ii happens all the time that people don't realize the glorio...
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The joy of going to the primary documents for understanding how people throughout history thought.