Saturday, December 29, 2007

Books: Isaac Asimov Predicted Wikipedia

I'm reading Isaac Asimov's book, "The Beginning and the End". I can't get enough Asimov, which is good, considering he's the most prolific author that ever lived.

"The Democracy of Learning" (Chapter 3 of "The Beginning and the End") is a short essay that appeared in "Know" magazine, which was a short-lived magazine that was put out by the makers of the "Encyclopaedia Britannica". It's ironic that Asimov was writing for the "Encyclopaedia Britannica" when he wrote:
And I look forward to the time when computerization will place in every home a terminal connected to some central library which will place, in facsimile, or on the television screen, the resources of human generations at the very fingertips of even the least of humanity. But that, alas, was not in my time.
Well, Asimov, you're right. Wikipedia is incredible, and I'm sorry you missed it.

1 comment:

Shannon -jj Behrens said...

You could argue that the Web is even more similar to what he wanted. However, it's decentralized (which in my mind is even better) and not written in encyclopedic-style. I'm pretty sure that the Web was relatively new when Asimov was still alive, so he may have seen it. However, he surely wasn't around to see what the Web has become, or to see Wikipedia, one of its finest assets.