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What's old is new again

The online world is a bit crazy. It is both instantaneous and terribly slow.

It is instantaneous in that if gold were to hit $2,000 a troy ounce, the news would be bouncing around the World Wide Web so fast that virtually anybody who has an interest in the event would know about it in seconds.

Then there is the archival quality of what is online. I was reminded of that in recent days.

I have been writing this blog since April 2007. There are well over 1,000 posts.

I had a letter the other day from someone who liked a posting I had done months ago and then was published in Numismatic News. It is always nice to hear from a reader, but I have to admit it is a bit disconcerting to see a reference to something I have done so long ago that I had to refamiliarize myself with the topic.

What do I do with the letter? It was written like a letter to the editor. Do I publish it? I don’t see why not, but doing so could give the impression that it has been bouncing around an internal file somewhere for months on end and Numismatic News is just terribly late in going to press with it.

On the other hand, it is readers who set the agenda. If a topic needs revisiting, they make their wishes known and it is done, though usually not with a specific long-ago reference to the last time it was an in-demand or necessary item.

In numismatics, what’s old becomes new again. Our shared knowledge is the ultimate renewable resource.