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What is the Purpose of The Internet? Does the Internet Archive Adequately?

Photo: Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Kind of fed up with the Internet?  With technology?  Even if you are, do you agree that the Internet serves the purpose of documenting, in its definitely imperfect way, our society and history?

In more ways than one the Internet serves as a virtual historian of our culture, but – unlike places like the Library of Congress that work diligently to preserve works of evolutionary significance, perpetuity on the Internet relies more on popularity.  Where would we be if artists, writers, philosophers, scientists, who were despised in their day had to rely on Facebook likes and YouTube subscribers to ensure that their creations and thoughts would be saved?  Were we better off when a few scholarly dissenters hung onto the works in their attics and basements, to be drudged up hundreds or thousands of years later?  And, if so, do we need a better archive of the Internet?

That is the question posed by the IdeaChannel on PBS.  Here’s the video:

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Photo: Bryan Bedder, Getty Images for The Webby Awards

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