Without Encarta to reference, will Wikipedia's credibility take a huge hit, sort of like the collapse of faith in the loan and banking sectors last year?
Encyclopedias are great things. When I was a little kid, my parents put a set of encyclopedias on the bookshelf next to our bathroom. By the time I reached high school, I had read every single entry of the entire twenty volumes. I know everything there is to know, except stuff that happened after the Carter presidency.
When I first bought a laptop I paid some serious coin to get the entire Grollier's Encyclopedia on CD. In fact, when I got a bigger hard drive, I saved the CD contents so I could access it whenever I wanted. It was great, in those pre-Encarta and pre-Wikipedia days, before Korea had wi-fi access everywhere, to be able to get solid info on the fly. Now it seems so quaint but back then it was very high-tech. I suppose someday my iPhone with its 3G connectivity will seem oh-so outmoded as well.
Anyway, as much as I dislike Microsoft and their business model, I did like Encarta, so this makes me sad. I also like the whole saving Africans thing, too, so I guess it wouldn't be a good thing if MS disappeared. Well, if muscular dystrophy disappeared that would be good; I meant the other MS.
I hope Microsoft will save Encarta somewhere, for posterity's sake, much like they have recently done with the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica. Check out the 98-year-old entry on Korea:
The east coast of Korea is steep and rock-bound, with deep water and a tidal rise and fall of 1 to 2 ft. The west coast is often low and shelving, and abounds in mud-banks, and the tidal rise and fall is from 20 to 36 ft. Korean harbours, except two or three which are closed by drift ice for some weeks in winter, are ice-free. Among them are Port Shestakov, Port Lazarev, and Won-san (Gensan), in Broughton Bay (Named after William Robert Broughton (1762-1821), an English navigator who explored these seas in 1795-1798); Fusan, Ma-san-po, at the mouth of the Nak-tong, on the south coast; Mok-po, Chin-nampo, near the mouth of the Tai-dong; and Chemulpo, near the mouth of the Han, the port of the capital and the sea terminus of the first Korean railway on the west coast.Yeah, Koreans were naming their bays after British explorers. Right.
Korea is distinctly mountainous, and has no plains deserving the name. In the north there are mountain groups with definite centres, the most notable being Paik-tu San or Pei-shan (8700 ft.) which contains the sources of the Yalu and Tumen. From these groups a lofty range runs southwards, dividing the empire into two unequal parts. On its east, between it and the coast, which it follows at a moderate distance, is a fertile strip difficult of access, and on the west it throws off so many lateral ranges and spurs, as to break up the country into a chaos of corrugated and precipitous hills and steep-sided valleys, each with a rapid perennial stream. Farther south this axial range, which includes the Diamond Mountain group, falls away towards the sea in treeless spurs and small and often infertile levels.
Actually I did a blog entry last July about the mysterious Port Lazareff. It's funny to see all the European names for stuff in Korea, though I am used to Liancourt Rocks for Tokto/Takeshima, and in history classes I did encounter Port Hamilton for Kŏmundo (거문도). Today, I dare say, most Koreans would have no idea about these European names (and some would be downright offended).
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