Today's Status Report on Making All the World's Knowledge Accessible

More

Slowly, more and more information comes online.

archive615.jpg

Flickr / blmurch

A music archivist at the Internet Archive wrote a short blog post over the weekend. The Archive had recently brought more files online, he said, sound originally stored in wax drums, 78rpm records, and an online underground music website from 1993.

It's a rather vanilla status report, but then he ends with this:

We are getting slightly closer to the "Universal Access to All Knowledge" goal.

Two weeks ago, I talked to Andrew Lih, a professor at USC and the closest thing Wikipedia has to an historian. He explained that Wikipedia editing tailed off because, in the early 2000s, Wikipedia had to catch up to all the world's knowledge. They did -- they caught up en masse -- and now they can focus on augmenting it and maintaining it.

Recently, a lot of tech news has been about the web's incipient middle age: Digg's sale, Wikipedia's administrative issues, Google's early employees coming to run most other companies. But this dream of the early web, to make all the world's knowledge accessible, continues. It continues in unions: The Internet Archive is the second most-cited source on Wikipedia. And it continues in bits and pieces like this, in emails, unheralded file transfers, and small posts to blogs until one day, there it all is.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Robinson Meyer is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where he covers technology.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Remote Warehouse Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where the Wild Things Go

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Adults Need Playtime Too

When was the last time you played your favorite childhood game?

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In