Comments: /OpEd/theshockofthevirtual.html : LUSENET : Economic History (and Related Observations) : One Thread

The Shock of the Virtual

-- Bradford DeLong (, May 04, 2000


I was reading "The Shock of the Virtual" today, and thought this note, which I sent to MEDIEV-L yesterday, might be of interest.

(Also, have a look at the recommended site at the bottom of the note. Just as I was getting bored by the lack of content on the web, this, and the Sunday Times Rich List for the whole millennium, came out.)

*** Last week I had a request for information from a museum curator in an African country.

Their museum has a copy of Rodin's "Burghers of Calais" and it was to be part of a special exhibit. The curator wanted to use the Froissart story about the burghers, but had been unable to find it in her country.

Because I have a Froissart web site, she was able to write me and get the text. Happiness all around.

This caused me to reflect on the continuing value, even perhaps the increased value that traditional forms of information may have in the next few years. If you have a big pile of books, for instance, the Internet may just mean that the world will be beating a superhighway, or a high-speed rail-link, to your door, instead of the proverbial path.

It will be the pile of books, not the zippy cable modem link, that will be the rare and valuable resource.

Even little differences may be significant. Here in North Bay, Ontario, for instance, we have a larger pile of accessible Froissart than an entire African country -- and not one of the more depressed African countries, either.

Steve Muhlberger

**** Steve -- Recommended site: The Historical Atlas of the Twentieth Century

-- Steve Muhlberger (, May 04, 2000.

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