I brought David Weinberger in to meet some folks last week for a conversation about tagging and I was lucky enough to hear his spiel about the Dewey decimal system and the limitations we had when knowledge was trapped on paper. David just wrote about this for the Boston Globe:
The real challenge to traditional publishing today comes not from the digitizing of books, then, but from the very nature of the Web itself. Using metadata to assemble ideas and content from multiple sources, online readers become not passive recipients of bound ideas but active librarians, reviewers, anthologists, editors, commentators, even (re)publishers. Perhaps that’s what truly scares publishers and authors about Google Print.