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(CNN)   Encyclopedia Britannica is going to stop printing new editions after 250 years. Space report kid inconsolable   (money.cnn.com) divider line 167
    More: Sad, Encyclopedia Britannica, online learning  
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5969 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2012 at 11:55 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-14 12:17:24 AM  
here to help Smartest
Funniest
2012-03-14 12:10:20 AM


Seriously... digital records can be easily wiped out. Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.


So basically, after the nuclear holocaust or zombie/robot uprising, our future descendents will only have information on our current society up to 2012. : (
 
2012-03-14 12:17:42 AM  

davidphogan: What's the big deal?


My wang.
 
2012-03-14 12:20:13 AM  

here to help: B.L.Z. Bub: But you can make backup copies of digital records with little effort and cost. I suppose you could have the printed version as a backup of last resort.

My point is that future civilizations may not be able to access those backups whereas a printed book doesn't need any real effort or expertise to get at the data.



People don't think that far ahead.
 
2012-03-14 12:20:30 AM  

Candygram4Mongo: Collector's items! I'LL BE RICH!

Oh wait, I don't own any volumes. Dammit.


You're not half wrong. Check out the prices for the First Edition! Someone's asking $9500 for Vol 1 alone!
 
2012-03-14 12:20:31 AM  
I think you've made that abundantly clear, Subby.
 
2012-03-14 12:21:20 AM  

SirEattonHogg: So basically, after the nuclear holocaust or zombie/robot uprising, our future descendents will only have information on our current society up to 2012. : (


I'm thinking more solar flares or just looong periods of time.

I'd imagine trying to get a 3000 year old hard drive found buried in clay working would be a real PITA. Especially if you didn't know what the hell it was.
 
2012-03-14 12:21:23 AM  
Sometimes, if I eat a wide variety of foods in a day, I'll take a dump with clearly discernable bits in it... some lettuce, peppers, corn, different nuts, etc... I call it Encyclopedia Brown.
 
2012-03-14 12:22:31 AM  
I had a set as a kid. I loved the hell out of them.
 
2012-03-14 12:22:58 AM  

Amos Quito: People don't think that far ahead.


They used to...

www.culturefocus.com


*sigh*
 
2012-03-14 12:23:38 AM  

SirEattonHogg: here to help Smartest
Funniest
2012-03-14 12:10:20 AM


Seriously... digital records can be easily wiped out. Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.

So basically, after the nuclear holocaust or zombie/robot uprising, our future descendents will only have information on our current society up to 2012. : (



Post 2012, the most important information may be how to sharpen sticks and make fire.

/Emphasis on sticks
 
2012-03-14 12:24:13 AM  

penthesilea: My mom cut up several volumes of the 1992 edition for craft projects recently. My parents had shelled out more than they could afford at the time for that set.


Doubtless the few remaining encyclopedia salesmen are inconsolable.
 
2012-03-14 12:24:46 AM  

here to help: Seriously... digital records can be easily wiped out. Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.


dailygrindhouse.com

Just don't break your glasses...
 
2012-03-14 12:25:47 AM  

here to help: Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.


Is there some reason you can't well-preserve a digital record for thousands of years?
 
2012-03-14 12:27:27 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Marshall Willenholly: Every kid in school whose parents were rich enough had Encyclopedia Britannica. My mom had an old set of Funk & Wagnalls that I was embarrased to use. We had to make those little 3x5 notecards showing the source of the material we used in our reports, and I always hated having to reference the F&W.

Nothing wrong with Funk and Wagnalls, or as it's called now: Encarta.

~
According to my mail, Encarta [Microsoft] begrudgingly used F&W coz none of their preferred choices would let them. I believe F&W is no longer Encarta.

ps: Came here for "look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls." Leaving happy. Here's a funny F&W scene from Buck Rogers, 1970s TV (new window, 0:31, SFW).
 
2012-03-14 12:27:57 AM  

here to help: Amos Quito: People don't think that far ahead.

They used to...

[www.culturefocus.com image 400x273]

*sigh*



Perhaps Encyclopedia Britannica should create one last version etched in stone?

/Seem to have longevity
 
2012-03-14 12:28:40 AM  
The space report kid, BTW, was Donavan Freberg, son of the eminent satirist and ad exec Stan. And you sure as hell wouldn't guess he was talented from his YouTube channel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donavan_Freberg
 
2012-03-14 12:29:44 AM  
Fast fact -- the space report kid was Donavan Freberg, son of popular ad man Stan Freberg; he was the mysterious voice in those ads, and he also produced the series.
 
2012-03-14 12:30:39 AM  
1.04 minutes !

Guess I had trouble finding volume "F"
 
2012-03-14 12:31:33 AM  

here to help: davidphogan: What's the big deal?

My wang.


Congrats, but that's even less useful than a print copy of an encyclopedia.
 
2012-03-14 12:31:36 AM  

timharrod: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donavan_Freberg


Nice to see he hasn't lost the capacity to be irritating.
 
2012-03-14 12:32:14 AM  

MrFisher_84: HAHAHA When I was an elementary school lad in the early 90s, I pretty much read or looked at every page of a complete set of early 1960's World Book my grandma had bought for my teenage dad new. In Jr High, turns out my knowledge of African countries was pretty damn inaccurate.



kinda worried how the cold war is gonna end, though :(
 
2012-03-14 12:32:35 AM  

four95: here to help: Seriously... digital records can be easily wiped out. Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.

[dailygrindhouse.com image 587x471]

Just don't break your glasses...


i733.photobucket.com">
 
2012-03-14 12:32:51 AM  
Whats Evil Kenivel going to jump now?
 
2012-03-14 12:34:03 AM  

T.M.S.: Whats Evil Kenivel going to jump now?


your mom!

/dar!
 
2012-03-14 12:35:39 AM  

here to help: My point is that future civilizations may not be able to access those backups whereas a printed book doesn't need any real effort or expertise to get at the data


As demonstrated by the ease with which we have been able to fully translate ancient writings. When people stumble across these things they just throw them in their backpack for reading on the toilet.

Oh wait, it turns out that's actually really hard to translate old writings without a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the language and culture of the time, and generally speaking even the very small percentage of the ancient writings survived at all are much too fragile for anything but the most delicate, expert handling.

I honestly don't understand why you think it would be easier to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years than to have someone apply a "Save As..." operation the collection every 5-10 years to keep the electronic version on current media and in easy-to-access file formats.
 
2012-03-14 12:36:34 AM  

profplump: here to help: Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.

Is there some reason you can't well-preserve a digital record for thousands of years?


As I said you would need the proper tools to retrieve the data. If you had never seen a DVD/CD in your life and found one while digging in your backyard would YOU know what to do with it?

davidphogan: Congrats, but that's even less useful than a print copy of an encyclopedia.


I have your mom on the phone. She's very disappointed in how you are speaking to your new dad.
 
2012-03-14 12:36:46 AM  
I'm in the camp that likes to be able to put the entire EB in my pocket on a disc or memory device, but the printed version doesn't require any other device to operate, and as long as the language is the same, won't become obsolete by platform or format.
 
2012-03-14 12:38:31 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Thank Jebus we still have Wikipedia to rely on!


Sadly, Wikipedia publishes popular opinion, rather than fact.
 
2012-03-14 12:39:41 AM  

profplump: I honestly don't understand why you think it would be easier to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years than to have someone apply a "Save As..." operation the collection every 5-10 years to keep the electronic version on current media and in easy-to-access file formats.


upload.wikimedia.org

My gawd! What beautiful drawings!
 
2012-03-14 12:40:56 AM  

MorePeasPlease: DAR: dear doomsday preppers, survivalists, antiquers, and end of the world types. Now is the time to pick up that really nice set of Encyclopedia Britannica that will still work after the great EMP event of 2012 Hot Fudge Tuesday which will take out "every" server, hard drive, DAT tape, and off site overseas storage backups of your data......


FTFY?


I actually *just* read that.
 
2012-03-14 12:44:36 AM  
My vote is for keeping the printed volumes for the ages. And maybe we could set up a special warehouse for them, near the nation's capitol... Say, Alexandria, Va. They'd last forever there.
 
2012-03-14 12:46:07 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: Nothing wrong with Funk and Wagnalls, or as it's called now: Encarta.


Fark Encarta. I had to be one of the first kids to use the Encarta CD version (which for me also gave access to the online version). So I was fighting the "you can't cite that' fight with teachers years before the Wiki-Citing nonsense.

/fark my teachers
//fark MLA, too
///but most of all, fark encarta
 
2012-03-14 12:47:13 AM  

here to help: I have your mom on the phone. She's very disappointed in how you are speaking to your new dad.


Dude... My mom's Catholic.

/it's like dead
 
2012-03-14 12:48:44 AM  

profplump: here to help: My point is that future civilizations may not be able to access those backups whereas a printed book doesn't need any real effort or expertise to get at the data

As demonstrated by the ease with which we have been able to fully translate ancient writings. When people stumble across these things they just throw them in their backpack for reading on the toilet.

Oh wait, it turns out that's actually really hard to translate old writings without a fairly comprehensive knowledge of the language and culture of the time, and generally speaking even the very small percentage of the ancient writings survived at all are much too fragile for anything but the most delicate, expert handling.

I honestly don't understand why you think it would be easier to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years than to have someone apply a "Save As..." operation the collection every 5-10 years to keep the electronic version on current media and in easy-to-access file formats.


If it wasn't for the Rosetta Stone, we probably still wouldn't understand Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

http://www.a-1hotels.com/eg/history/assets/images/rosetta_stone.JPG
 
2012-03-14 12:52:23 AM  
What about the encyclopedias with the internet uplinks and 27 pages on Gwen Steffani?
img138.imageshack.us
 
2012-03-14 12:52:46 AM  

davidphogan: here to help: I have your mom on the phone. She's very disappointed in how you are speaking to your new dad.

Dude... My mom's Catholic.

/it's like dead


But I'm saving a fortune in rubbers.

;-)
 
2012-03-14 12:54:41 AM  

foo monkey: FirstNationalBastard: Thank Jebus we still have Wikipedia to rely on!

Sadly, Wikipedia publishes popular opinion, rather than fact.


But everything else is decided by pixie and unicorn dust sprinkled by fairies.
 
2012-03-14 12:54:46 AM  

profplump: I honestly don't understand why you think it would be easier to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years than to have someone apply a "Save As..." operation the collection every 5-10 years to keep the electronic version on current media and in easy-to-access file formats.


profplump: Is there some reason you can't well-preserve a digital record for thousands of years?


Let's put it this way: even without all the complications of needing the right hardware/knowledge to read it, the largest problem with digital media storage is that it isn't. Large, that is. Digital storage is very, very small, and the higher density it is the smalle the "ones and zeros" are. So ever scratch, dent, puncture, etc etc... that removes a portion of the data as a whole (and a lot of times increases the risk of it not being read normally at all).

That and the fact that CDs/DVDs rot over time, so they aren't practical for even a few decades.

A good example I've seen is "The Rosetta Disk", from "The Long Now Foundation".

"The Rosetta Disk fits in the palm of your hand, yet it contains over 13,000 pages of information on over 1,500 human languages. The pages are microscopically etched and then electroformed in solid nickel, a process that raises the text very slightly - about 100 nanometers - off of the surface of the disk. Each page is only 400 microns across - about the width of 5 human hairs - and can be read through a microscope at 650X as clearly as you would from print in a book. Individual pages are visible at a much lower magnification of 100X."


Still, one good scratch and you've lost a lot of pages of information.

Depending on the paper/page-material used, books are the best long-term data storage because they can be easily reproduced as well as easily read. You have better odds of 1 out of 10,000 EB's surviving than you do 1 of 1 "Rosetta Disks".
 
2012-03-14 12:57:50 AM  

brap: This makes me sad. I made a point of trying to read our EBs from A to Z under the misguided notion that if I did I would know absolutely EVERYTHING.


Hey, I read your book.

img.photobucket.com

Like SpikeStrip and MrFisher_84, I also had a World Book set from the '60s, including two yearbooks ('66 and '67). I did an overdue social studies report on China from them back in 1995. We did get some other encyclopedias (not World Book, possibly Grolier), but we could only get the trial versions (A-C).
 
2012-03-14 12:57:58 AM  

FirstNationalBastard: Candygram4Mongo: brap: This makes me sad. I made a point of trying to read our EBs from A to Z under the misguided notion that if I did I would know absolutely EVERYTHING.

Okay, tell me all about Albuquerque.



It's a magical, far away place where the sun is always shining and the air smells like warm root beer and the towels are oh so fluffy. Where the shriners and the lepers play their ukuleles all day long and anyone on the street will glady shave your back for a nickel!


They also have this guy who makes the BEST meth.
 
2012-03-14 12:58:18 AM  

timharrod: The space report kid, BTW, was Donavan Freberg, son of the eminent satirist and ad exec Stan. And you sure as hell wouldn't guess he was talented from his YouTube channel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donavan_Freberg


He also had a photography blog that focused on the NSFW with a hard lean toward the creepy side.

[link] (nsfw)
 
2012-03-14 12:58:58 AM  

here to help: B.L.Z. Bub: But you can make backup copies of digital records with little effort and cost. I suppose you could have the printed version as a backup of last resort.

My point is that future civilizations may not be able to access those backups whereas a printed book doesn't need any real effort or expertise to get at the data.



Books don't last very long. When the next ice age comes, it's kindling.
 
2012-03-14 01:00:37 AM  

profplump: here to help: Printed word, when well preserved, can last for thousands of years.

Is there some reason you can't well-preserve a digital record for thousands of years?


Thousands of years?? Go out in the shed and find your 5 1/4" floppy copies of your grad school dissertation from merely 20 years ago. I can name a minimum of 3 reasons you won't be able to open them up.

Go in your dad's shed and find his old deck of punchcards. Try reading through those. Go ahead.
 
2012-03-14 01:05:39 AM  

GungFu: Books don't last very long. When the next ice age wacko fundamentalist revisionism movement comes, it's kindling.


/fixored
 
2012-03-14 01:06:33 AM  

profplump: I honestly don't understand why you think it would be easier to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years than to have someone apply a "Save As..." operation the collection every 5-10 years to keep the electronic version on current media and in easy-to-access file formats.


Steps to keep a set of books in good shape for thousands of years:
1) Have a set of books
2) Keep them somewhere safe
3) Wait thousands of years

Steps to keep a set of digital records in good shape for thousands of years:
1) Keep someone interested in serving as Arbiter of the County Archives for thousands of years
2) Pay them nothing, watch them do nothing
3) Turns out nobody really gives a shiat about your sweet MIDI collection from 20 years ago
4) zzz.....
 
2012-03-14 01:07:14 AM  

algrant33: Thousands of years?? Go out in the shed and find your 5 1/4" floppy copies of your grad school dissertation from merely 20 years ago. I can name a minimum of 3 reasons you won't be able to open them up.

Go in your dad's shed and find his old deck of punchcards. Try reading through those. Go ahead.


Ugh. Two years ago I had a woman want me to reinstall Windows 95 on a pc for her. Needs a floppy disk. I spent days trying to find one that even worked, and finally gave up.
 
2012-03-14 01:08:05 AM  
I got a Compton Interactive Encyclopedia you can use...but you need a 4X speed CD Rom and 4 megs ram to use it though so....start saving up your money
 
2012-03-14 01:16:39 AM  
Is the 1911 or the 1913 edition that's supposed to be the high-water mark of western civilization? How appropriate it came out just before western civilization ran itself on the bayonet of WWI.
 
2012-03-14 01:16:42 AM  

SpikeStrip: got a set of world book. anything up to and including 1966 you'd ever want to know.


I've got up to '74. I don't want to spoil it for you, but man eventually walks on the moon. I'm on tenterhooks wondering if a computer will ever come down to the size of a house and be able to play chess, though. I think they might be useful in the future. I'm brushing up on my Fortran programming skills just in case.
 
2012-03-14 01:25:45 AM  

JerseyTim: He only got a B+ on that space report.
[i.ytimg.com image 480x360]


To borrow a line from another, that kid is likely more concerned about prostate exams these days.
 
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