Just north of San Francisco, Internet entrepreneur Brewster Kahle is building a so-called Noah’s Ark for Books. Kahle has started the project of filling his warehouse with one copy of every book ever printed.
Is he crazy or brilliant? I’m voting for a combination: crazy-brilliance. Not only am I a bookworm, but history is my porn. Being able to see, touch, and experience things from the past is more than exciting to me – so the idea that he is creating a space for the humans that will live hundreds of years from now to experience these books makes me giddy. We have no idea what will happen in the future, but even if print books are still available, you can bet that many will have been deemed too irrelevant to house in libraries (assuming they still exist). Those of you rolling your eyes at me for talking about no libraries (or the possibility of no print books), try and think of what your great-grandparents would have thought of handheld computers, video chats, hybrid cars, and reality TV. Things are changing at an exceedingly rapid rate. While the future is exciting, it is also interesting to think of how (and if) we are preserving our current culture in a way that the coming generations will be able to experience in a tactile way (as opposed to reading articles on some sort of robotic system).
So, what do you think?
Crazy? Brilliant? Crazy-brilliant?
(To learn more about his endeavor, you can read the coverage from The New York Times.)