Feb 07 2013

Free Public WiFi the same as a Public Library

In the beginning there were libraries. No, seriously. We’ve been keeping track of things in libraries for a long, long time. You go back to the library of Alexandria, you go back to the old Roman libraries, the old Greek libraries a thousand years before that. Libraries have long been considered a part of the commons: common wisdom, common knowledge. There have been times in history when libraries have only been available to the select few, the monastic libraries. In fact there have been times in history when much of what we now know of the great and ancient wisdom of philosophers and scientists from millennia ago was just the result of monks copying things down over and over again and keeping track of things. But then the idea really got popularized with Ben Franklin who not only helped start the first post office in Philadelphia, but also the first public library. It was one of the projects of his Junto society. People don’t show up so much in libraries any more and the library business is getting harder and harder because people are getting more and more of their information over the web. So, shouldn’t free public WiFi be the equivalent of the free public library? – Thom Hartmann

GUESTS: Steven Titch, Policy Analyst with Reason Foundation.


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