Do you remember the British tutor in The Last Emperor? Opinions of and outrage over colonization aside, just for the moment, retaining his services would be like subscribing to the Internet in a person, in a format similar to the 1987 Apple Knowledge Navigator demo, with the personal digital assistant.
A broad range of awareness in the arts, sciences and humanities, elegantly delivered in seconds to any seeker of information and knowledge, is the finest vertical search engine. This digital marvel would be an oracle of the liberal arts, versifier of the general and channeler of detail.
Cloud computing, crowd sourcing, social networks, wikis, AI, teraflops of information, and combinatorics could compare if distilled into a gauzy etherweb and nebulized over the hermit's mead. Otherwise, the gingham check and seersucker blazer, top hat and frock, pomade and English breakfast, should be the markup language and asynchronous script of choice for aspiring minds.