I'm annoyed. In a story that hasn't secured the level of attention it deserves, the UK government has revealed plans to slash funding for one of the world's most important cultural institutions, the British Library.
The Library is one of those resources you take for granted. It's heavily used by the world's leading researchers, academics, students, enthusiasts and journalists.
It provides a world-renowned depository of one of the most important vehicles of knowledge - books.
At present, the library offers a cutting-edge program of exhibitions, a series of excellent school learning activities, a world-class international newspaper archive (based in North London) and offers researchers free access to browse its huge collection.
Visitors to the British Museum have included Karl Marx, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and George Bernard Shaw.
Now the UK government plans to slash an astonishing 7 per cent from the institution's paltry £100 million budget.
To survive, the Library will be forced to:
* Close all schools learning programmes
* Close all public exhibitions
* Slash opening hours by more than a third
* Charge researchers for admission to the reading rooms for the first time
* Drastically reduce the permanent collection -which includes a copy of every book published in the UK - by an obscene 15 per cent
* Close completely the international newspaper archive based at Colindale - a resource used by 30,000 people every year.
I'm extremely angry at these plans. I'm a knowledge worker in a high-tech economy, but even I recognise and understand the huge value of a cutural resource like this Library. It's a crown jewel in the UK pantheon. It should be protected.
If nothing else, UK children will be inspired by books and exhibitions they find in the Library to create knowledge for future generations. Perhaps there is a researcher there now who is already developing Web 3.0.
If access is restricted, we may never know what that invention may have been.
This is perhaps a personal matter. Saving a globally-revered institution for the preservation and sharing of knowledge may not, on the face of it, be appropriate for a Mac website.
I'd argue that something like this is relevant to the Mac platform as it reflects our platform's support for education, research and knowledge - and is of course also relevant to publishing. So it may not be an A-list story, but it will matter deeply to anyone who cares about education and knowledge.
Well, that's how I see it. And I must confess, it does make a change from jabbering on about the iPhone or Apple TV, endlessly, while we pretty much know the promise of both devices is something we hope to try for ourselves, not speculate upon.
It's your decision what to do next, but I do appreciate you reading this personal blog entry.