Think Tank Topic; Digital Libraries and the Future of Books

We have all heard a lot on the news recently about books being made digital for all to read. Microsoft is doing a 20-million dollar project in Great Britain and Google is doing several libraries in the United States. There has been some controversy on this issue from authors who receive royalties and booksellers. It is for this reason our Think Tank brought up the topic.

A prominent member in our Think Tank “Swift” said; “I was looking into your idea of the digital library and Goggle's attempt at putting all existing books on the Internet. I really like this idea as only a small percentage of books remain in print. I have been looking for an out of print book for decades called the Rose and the Labyrinth and have had book searches done all over the world. I have found out that there were 5 books with this title. The one I am looking for dealt with the time Carl Jung spent with minors and his reactions to them. He didn't write it, but I no longer have the information on the book so don't remember who the writer is. There are some really wonderful out of print books and no way to access them. I am having problems with the publishing companies who are worried about the copyright infringement issues and the interpretation of "fair use."

They wouldn't start with the newest books, I would think; but the books that were no longer protected. What in the heck are they being protected from? No one is going to pretend they wrote them for crying out loud. After this length of time, I'll read any book names the Rose and the Labyrinth and pretend it was the book that was referred to me by Jung's last student before he died. I really like the idea of a mine being a labyrinth--so did my father.

Well I certainly see Swift’s point on this issue and we know that currently we are very busy digitizing humankind’s written knowledge from books to the digital so it can be made available to the world. This is a very wise move as books can decay over years and out of print books are not available to all. By digitizing the known human written knowledge to the world we can conquer the opportunity barriers of those hard chargers who may not have the resources to achieve the upward mobility they seek. As we conquer the digital divide we will be well on our way to giving back the knowledge of the world from the entire Library of Commerce to the human race in an easy to read, search and retrieve format available to all. That will be an excellent day for the human race indeed. Imagine a digital library of the Library of Commerce able to use Super Computer speeds to retrieve all the world’s written books online at a speed of Google or MSN.com. That is to say any book written in any language, anywhere in the world, at anytime, think on that for a second.

By using knowledge and experience this way we can leverage this to prevent failure through understanding results. Those who do not learn from their mistakes, tend to keep from making them. Those who remember the lessons learned from their mistakes successes tend to reason better thru analyzing of their mistakes and trying to figure a way around their problems.

Now then, let me tell you why I believe a society needs digital libraries hooked to all civilizations for faster advancement of the human species as a whole or as one. If you had a problem that needed solving for the betterment of your civilization and you had all the world’s knowledge at your finger tips; that is to say a computer hooked to a system like a World Wide Digital Library, then you would have enhanced your personal knowledge and memory by a million fold. This could help your intelligent quotient at the speed of computer and that coupled with the speed of thought is a major component needed to take mankind to the singularity of an all-knowing, never ending being in this dimension. Think on this.

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