OPPORTUNITIES BEFORE EFFICIENCIES

Before the World Wide Web there was Dialog.

Dialog was pretty futuristic. In the 1970s and ’80s it was the closest thing to an electronic library there was, containing the world’s scientific, scholarly, and journalistic texts. The only problem was its price, $1 per minute. You could spend a lot of money looking things up. At those prices only serious questions were asked. There was no fooling around, no making frivolous queries–like looking up your name. Waste was discouraged. Since searching was sold as a scarcity, there was little way to master the medium, or to create anything novel.

 

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This is a blog version of a book of mine first published in 1998. I am re-issuing it (two posts per week) unaltered on its 10th anniversary. Comments welcomed. More details here.
-- KK