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Much knowledge is still sealed in books, away from the internet

When we search for something in Google, and there are no results; we tend to think that if it’s not in Google, then it doesn’t exist. An example:

A fascinating twitter account pulls quotes from various articles by the famous (and dead) art critic Clement Greenberg. Reading these abbreviated quotes are fascinating little nuggets. Often they lead to more questions. @Clem_Greenberg tweeted:

It’s a very curious quote. What does he mean? Klee’s personality? or his art’s personality? A google search for: “Klee is an artist of smaller scope” results in nothing. But an amazon search results in The Collected Essays and Criticism, Volume 3: Affirmations and Refusals, 1950-1956 by Clement Greenberg.

Oh the knowledge sealed away in books. Even Google Scholar didn’t have any results.

UPDATE:
Wait. This changes the whole scope of this blog post. I was previously searching one of the top Google alternatives, blekko.com. In my quest to find a Google alternative, I set Blekko as my default search engine. Doing the search on GOOGLE.COM gives three results. One from books.google.com, which points to the same book that Amazon gave. The second and third results bring up a blog post with Greenberg’s entire article, #19 Clement Greenberg on Paul Klee.

I still stand behind what I said earlier that much knowledge is still sealed up in books. But this particular example illuminates how more of that knowledget is becoming available online.

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4 Comments on "Much knowledge is still sealed in books, away from the internet"

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mattmaldre
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In a side note, I’ve stopped reading @Clem_Greenberg’s tweets, because I’ve at-replied him at least ten times and I haven’t gotten a response. People who don’t respond to at-replies don’t deserve to have their tweets read.

bodacious75
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The ease of information flow leads us into a place of the very point you identified. We think that if Google (or whatever other Search engine used) doesn’t display it, it doesn’t exist. This is a sure fallacy, and yet it troubles me how many people content themselves to limit their searching out of a matter to the shallows of Google. I wonder what long-term effects such limited “search-window-tunnel-vision” will have on people….Thank God for libraries and books, sweet books.

mattmaldre
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Good points, bodacious75. Grocery shopping can be a simile for reading books. I’m gonna make a blog post about that next week. It’ll talk about the tangibility of books.

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