Data isn't information. ... Information, unlike data, is useful. While there's a gulf between data and information, there's a wide ocean between information and knowledge. What turns the gears in our brains isn't information, but ideas, inventions, and inspiration. Knowledge-not information-implies understanding. And beyond knowledge lies what we should be seeking: wisdom.
I claim that this bookless library is a dream, a hallucination of on-line addicts; network neophytes, and library-automation insiders...Instead, I suspect computers will deviously chew away at libraries from the inside. They'll eat up book budgets and require librarians that are more comfortable with computers than with children and scholars. Libraries will become adept at supplying the public with fast, low-quality information. The result won't be a library without books--it'll be a library without value.
The virtual community? The word virtual does not mean "virtue." It means "not." When I go to the store and they say: The shirt that you brought in is virtually done. It means it is not done, in the same way that the virtual community is not a community. There is no commitment there. When you log off, you are not a member of it anymore. My flesh and blood community, the sense of knowing my neighbor, knowing the guy across the street, having dinner with the people down the block, getting along with each other and making compromises, that's... Read more »
For years, we've been bludgeoned with the cliche "information is power." But information isn't power. After all, who's got the most information in your neighborhood? Librarians. And they're famous for having no power at all. And who has the most power in your community? Politicians. And they're notorious for being ill-informed.