A Quantum Theory of Internet Value "When "the Internet" was unveiled to a doughnut-eating public a decade ago, we were promised unlimited access to vistas of encyclopedic knowledge. Every body would be connected to every thing, and we would never be short of an answer. What with the abundance of information, and the costs of transporting information approaching zero, the world would never be the same again.
Of course, a decade on, we know that real economics have prevailed. Information costs money. Those transport costs certainly aren't zero. And faced with a choice of a million experts, people gravitate towards experts with a good track record: i.e., for better or worse, paid journalists, qualified doctors or other centers of expertise.
Taxonomies also have been proved to have value: archivists can justify a smirk as manual directory projects dmoz floundered - true archivists have a far better sense of meta-data than any computerized system can conjure. If you're in doubt, befriend a librarian, and from the resulting dialog, you'll learn to start asking good questions. Your results, we strongly suspect, will be much more fruitful than any iterative Google searches. "
"At a convivial dinner recently, John Perry Barlow asked me why no one had written a story about how the most powerful organisations in the world were dependent on the most awful, antiquated and dysfunctional technology. Well, I ventured (to a deafening silence), maybe they were making ruthless choices, and really weren't too slavish about following techno-fads. Maybe the answer is in the question."