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I manage this Web site and the following Web sites: Leslie (Blakeley) Adkins - my oldest daughter

Lori Ann Blakeley (June 20, 1985 - May 4, 2005) - my middle daughter

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So, how much information is there really on planet Earth?

How Much Information," 2003

School of Information Management and Systems at the University of California at Berkeley

Lyman, Peter and Hal R. Varian

http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/research/projects/how-much-info-2003/

Abstract

This study is an attempt to estimate how much new information is created each year. Newly created information is distributed in four storage media print, film, magnetic, and optical and seen or heard in four information flows telephone, radio and TV, and the Internet. This study of information storage and flows analyzes the year 2002 in order to estimate the annual size of the stock of new information contained in storage media, and heard or seen each year in information flows.

 

How Much Information Is There in the World? (1997)

Professor Michael Lesk (see Michael_Lesk)

Library and Information Science Department

School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies (SCILS)

Rutgers University

 

Abstract

How much information is there in the world? This paper makes various estimates and compares the answers with the estimates of disk and tape sales, and size of all human memory. There may be a few thousand petabytes [*] of information all told; and the production of tape and disk will reach that level by the year 2000. So in only a few years, (a) we will be able save everything \- no information will have to be thrown out, and (b) the typical piece of information will never be looked at by a human being.

Further excerpts:

There will be enough disk space and tape storage in the world to store everything people write, say, perform or photograph. For writing this is true already; for the others it is only a year or two away. Only a tiny fraction of this information has been professionally approved, and only a tiny fraction of it will be remembered by anyone. As noted before the storage media will outrun our ability to create things to put on them; and so after the year 2000 the average disk drive or communications link will contain machine-to-machine communication, not human-to-human. When we reach a world in which the average piece of information is never looked at by a human, we will need to know how to evaluate everything automatically to decide what should get the precious resource of human attention.

Today the digital library community spends some effort on scanning, compression, and OCR; tomorrow it will have to focus almost exclusively on selection, searching, and quality assessment. Input will not matter as much as relevant choice. Missing information won't be on the tip of your tongue; it will be somewhere in your files. Or, perhaps, it will be in somebody else's files. With all of everyone's work online, we will have the opportunity first glimpsed by H. G. Wells (and a bit later and more concretely by Vannevar Bush (see vannevar_bush.html http://www.cs.sfu.ca/CC/365/mark/material/notes/Chap1/VBushArticle/)

to let everyone use everyone else's intellectual effort. We could build a real `World Encyclopedia' with a true `planetary memory for all mankind' as Wells wrote in 1938. [Wells 1938]. He talked of ``knitting all the intellectual workers of the world through a common interest;'' we could do it. The challenge for librarians and computer scientists is to let us find the information we want in other people's work; and the challenge for the lawyers and economists is to arrange the payment structures so that we are encouraged to use the work of others rather than re-create it.