What Google want to do is “liberate” words from the text. Eric Schmidt, Google’s chiliastic chief executive, sees this as a way of delivering free knowledge to the world’s intellectually undernourished masses. But he’s wrong. Google’s universal library will create more rather than less intellectual malnourishment. Books are cogent, coherent stand-alone entities that can’t be chopped up like vegetables to create an “interesting” salad of digital snippets. In today’s “cut and paste” Internet culture, scanning books and chucking their poor innocent words into a vast, searchable database will only create massive intellectual fraud and confusion.
Read Andrew Keen’s blog at ZDNet