Kevin Kelly's wonderful article "Scan This Book" launched an interesting and cautionary letter-writing campaign to the NY Times. My favorite letter is this one, by Joseph Fitzer of La Grange, Ill.
"Kelly has mixed together two articles, one that deals thoughtfully with issues of copyright law and one that attempts to revive the medieval, Faustian dream of latching on to a divine knowledge of the universe."I am too busy keeping up with email to have read anything about medieval history, so I started googling and discovered that Faust, a play written by Goethe, is one of history's seminal stories of a man selling his soul to the Devil.
What does the story's protagonist, Faust, desire above all else? Universal knowledge. In exchange for that, he gives Satan his eternal servitude. (Are my KM colleagues reading this? Your consulting fees are ridiculously low by comparison.)
You can read a translation of the deal going down here, in a scene that nicely dramatizes the tension between human desires for visceral experience and intellectual knowledge. Then, for a good follow-up, read Genesis 2:17 (that's from the Bible, a book I did actually learn about before Google), in which God himself says: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die."
Did I mention that Connectedness was Blogger.com's blog of the day on 06-06-06? That's enough to make even the most devout believers in the holy trinity of SNA start to wonder.
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