The Web as a Cure for Scholarly Isolation

Life for scholars was lonely before the Web, says the philosopher David Weinberger, a fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and author of Everything Is Miscellaneous: The Power of the New Digital Disorder (Times Books, 2007). In a debate with Andrew Keen, a Web 2.0 critic and author of The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet Is Killing our Culture (Doubleday/Currency, 2007), Mr. Weinberger says that before the Web grew ubiquitous, “ideas were scarce…because space, time, and the limitations of paper made it hard to hear what others were saying and well nigh impossible to talk with them about it.” Now, he writes, “I am in contact with people who come up with ideas I’d never have encountered, who are sources of wide expertise.” —Andrea L. Foster

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