the potential for expertise is defined by the number of people who access the conference center.
My father, a misanthrope for 78 years, would have been relieved to know that the views and opinions of every "schmoo" were not indiscriminately saved forever. "Who cares what some other fellow says?" he would have asked. "Why should I want to talk to someone who is no smarter than I am?" We all possess oceans of ignorance. But what he often forgot was that most people also contain deep wells of expertise. The trick is to find the people whose knowledge and experience will help in any given situation, and to ask them for the help all of us, sooner or later, will need. In these pick-up communities, there is an extraordinary wealth of knowledge and experience that can make the difference, quite literally, between life and death, between despair and renewal. Even without the power of the online library, these electronic mail lists and conference center association forums or user groups are an enormous resource.
Chapter Seven looks at several strings from various sources in an attempt to explore more deeply how this system of communication works, and the degree to which the medium of electronic messaging in fact contributes to a person's ability to gain insight and quality data. The next chapter describes the logic of the system at large, and how to find appropriate sites for specific discussions within the vast conference center. Then the online library's ability to answer factual queries is explored, both as a distinct resource and in association with the conference center's many rooms.