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• Small Pieces From 2002-06-18 •

An article today shows how Bush invented the hyperlink.

(Dave baiting? Moi?)

Loosely joined by Kevin Marks21:47 UTC

Sorry if I've blurred a couple of different senses of links that should be kept distinct. On one level, we posit links as connections between people - as Kevin and David and I had in mind in speaking of connotation, affinity, etc. These occur via voice, interpretive inferences from collections of links, etc.. I think Alex Golub zoomed in on this in his piece about SPLJ. What struck me then, and comes into play here now, is that this all lies in the area of interpreting links - the hermeneutics of links.

There is also the rudimentary functionality of links - what Ward calls the grammar - having to do with the the simple on/off way they work and how we use them. On the level of the current state of the code, we either 1) link or 2) do not link. If there is a link, we either 1. click, or 2. do not click. (More accurately, we have a few other "options" - we can run the mouse over and get an idea of where we would go if we clicked, and we can click and open a new screen (addition), rather than replace what is on the screen with a completely different screenful'o'content (substitution). I do both of these quite a bit.)

Does it help to try to keep these two senses of links distinct? If not, then I'm more confused than I thought. At the moment,I know of no quantum link thing - e.g., no way to mouse over and have the the new text/image/whatever superpose itself without replacing or displacing the linking site. Nor is there a way right now for a link to intelligently update. Suppose Alex had updated his thoughts on David and linking, and that I have not seen the update. My link from back when I wrote about his original piece does not have the intelligence to look for updates in Alex's stuff. It is static. If Shelly's blog thread thing gets going, it might offer a new alternative here.

I love the Borges piece - much Monty Python there. But doesn't the humor reside in its playing off of the notion that taxonomies have general and shared status among users? If everyone "promulgated" his/her own taxonomy, would it still be taxonomy?

Loosely joined by tom12:21 UTC

Dave, I was referring to Tom's use of 'links' in the sense of connections or correlations, perceptions of affinity (at least, that is what I think he meant). Tom, in response to your earlier point about literary critics anticipating the virtualisation of real place, I can see what you are getting at, but Brad's point was that while the deconstructers were inventing ever wordier and more reflexive jargon to describe the putative social construction of reality, a different reality was indubitably being socially constructed online. Another quote from late 1995:
Having children really changes your view on these things. We're born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It's been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much - if at all.

These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I'm not downplaying that. But it's a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light - that it's going to change everything. Things don't have to change the world to be important.

The Web is going to be very important. Is it going to be a life-changing event for millions of people? No. I mean, maybe. But it's not an assured Yes at this point. And it'll probably creep up on people.

Steve Jobs in late 1995

Loosely joined by Kevin Marks09:14 UTC

• Small Pieces From 2002-06-17 •

I'm getting lost and I don't want to be because you're talking about something really important. Allow me to recapitulate so you can tell me where I'm going wrong:

We take the dumb-ass tests because we are looking for others like us? Ok, got it, although aren't they a postmodern exercise in irony because of the implicit contradiction between the supposed richness of the result and the tawdry, multiple choice technique they use? Anyway, so we're looking for links to others. (Nice birdsong trope, by the way.) But Tom objects that links on the Web tend to be binary. Say wha'? E.g., the links within a blog entry tend to be richer than that. For example, Kevin's link to the Borges piece occurs within a provocative, voice-ful piece about links and collections. Further, the linked page provides more context for understanding Kevin and his blog entry. No binary-ness here. Even the blogrolodex, typically consisting of nothing but names, is contextualized by the blog page and in turn contextualizes that page. But, Kevin, when you say "The kind of links you are talking about are more likely to...", what kind of links do you think Tom is talking about? I think this is where I'm getting lost. Contextualize me, please!

(Considering I hate the term "contextualize," I'm certainly using it a lot today. Shoot me before I say "prioritize.")

Loosely joined by David15:05 UTC