Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Friday, September 4, 2009

Hobson's Choice

Whatever I do as a writer, it seems that as a reader I am going to be forced to choose between Google and Amazon. I think here of Hamlet's words:
'Tis dangerous when the baser nature comes
Between the pass and fell incensed points
Of mighty opposites.
Guys, whatever you do, just don't be evil, okay?


  • It's a pity the options (Google and Amazon) have been whittled down so quickly. What troubles me above all is that some of the world's best libraries, which are run by some of the world's best bibliographers, so quickly acquiesced to Google's request to pillage their books without bothering to inquire whether Google had the means to catalog the books properly. I suppose that Google's reputation was unsullied in the early 2000s. Perhaps the libraries were eager to side with a young, upstart company. But why didn't the libraries lay down more demands, requiring Google, for instance, to use existing metadata or to provide better integration with existing library tools?

Post a Comment

[Basic HTML tags can be used in this comment field.]