All this tells us is that persistent accumulation of knowledge requires care and curation over time. One might even imagine that digital online libraries might have the ability to update themselves as new knowledge is added. John McCarthyb once said to me, “Do you know, 100 years from now they will say, ‘100 years ago they had books that didn’t talk to each other!'” It will be an enormous task to devise methods to accumulate and curate digital content and its relevant metadata including provenance and validity. Will computer, information, and library science be up to the task? We can but try.
Books that don’t talk to each other? Who knew?