Is there anything that government can do better than the private sector? Actually, there are a few things. Steal money by the trillions of dollars. Spend money by the multi-trillions. Go into debt by who knows how many millions. Kill people in endless wars. De-educate people in a multi-billion-dollar school system. Create long lines. Bankrupt the postal service. Wreck a thriving economy. And so much more.
Consider old newspapers. There is a wealth of information in them, but hardly anybody can access the material because it’s till in paper form or on microfilm that has not been digitized and put into a computer searchable format. The government has been working on digitizing the paper information for some time. With $22 million dollars at its disposal, you would think that the “experts” would be able to outperform one man with a couple of computers.
“One computer expert working alone has built a collection of digitized historic newspapers at http://fultonhistory.com/ that is much bigger and more popular than one created by a federal bureaucracy with millions of dollars to spend. Armed only with a few PCs and a cheap microfilm scanner, Tom Tryniski has played David to the Library of Congress’ Goliath. His site presently has more than 21,790,000 old New York State historical newspaper pages. He now is also adding newspapers from other states.”
Tryniski is only a high school graduate who has no academic credentials. “Tryniski is adding new content at a rate of about a quarter-million pages per month with no plans to slow down.” His costs are minimal. He runs the entire operation from a small gazebo (see image above).
I was able to locate articles about a good friend from a number of New York newspapers going back to 1972. Most of the papers Tryniski has digitized are from New York, but he is expanding his efforts to other states.
Whatever this guy’s technique is to get so much digitized so fast, our government needs to look into it. You can read another article about Tom Tryniski’s web site at Reason.com.
Watch this very informative short video. It will renew your hope in non-government man: