Wikipedia and Google delude many into thinking all human knowledge has been made available to our immediate access.
This is a dangerous lie.
Any scholar will tell you of the vast amount of documents and artifacts completely unavailble online, or indeed impossible to easily scan or study online.
And this silent wealth pales before the oral and analog culture which, in a McLuhanian dimension, can not be simply digitized and maintain integrity.
@Shufei I would argue, too, that there is something about combing through hard documents, in dusty dark spaces, that stimulate your brain to make connections not otherwise attained by browser searching.
The research is definitely beginning to back this up, showing that paper is a mnemonically superior medium.
I certainly share the love (and serendipitous necessity) of browsing the stacks. When libraries go automated retrieval systems, it truly hurts us as a society.
A good point to stress. These algorithms can both intentionally obfuscate and obfuscate via the "wisdom" of crowds, intensifying biases and received opinions.
I'm further concerned about the dubious fidelity of much OCR texts. Many Chinese manuscripts have enormously high error rates when so scanned, I've found, rendering them only useful as a first run search, and certainly not for reading.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko