I agree (with the quote that is.
Alas I am bereft of "indispensable intuition and genuine leaps of thinking"
I plod along with quite dispensible intuition and false leaps of thinking.
I suspect there are few Einsteins in any era, which suspicion is neither
original nor thoughtful. So I pick up your gauntlet, climb up
on my horse and to quote Stephen Leacock, the great Canadian satirist,
ride off in all directions.
Some how I can intuit the response to this message and I don't want to think about it.
----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Marcia Karp
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 6:51 AM
Subject: Re: Changing times

Rickard A. Parker wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite">
Tabitha Arnesen wrote:
And dont you find the way that pages in books are all
so constrively stuck together really really bad, like
a sign of the coming apocalypse of evil???
Bookbinders and publishers have an evil cartel so that
we can only ever read the pages of books in one
"arbitrary" order decreed by university department
elitists!!!  Its a straitjacket for our minds!!!  The
"ordinary people" must unite to destroy this mind
manacles of menace!!!!

It is happening now.  It's called hypertext.
It has happened before.  To begin with, no one stops anyone from jumping around in a book or a scroll.  If you want to read a novel out of order, go ahead, but what sort of freedom is that?  And  what do you (the list "you") think indices help readers do, though one is free to ignore them?  Endnotes and footnotes?  "loc cit"?  "q.v."?  Page numbers (preemptive stike--they are not for the printer, who uses signatures to keep his place)?

Let's have a real argument, in which indispensable intuition and genuine leaps of thinking test themselves.  I throw down this gauntlet:
"The whole battery of aids to reading and comprehension which the reader of to-day takes for granted--the separation of words, systematic provision of accents and breathings, punctuation, paragraphing, chapter headings, lists of contents, footnotes, indexes, bibliographies, etc.--simply did not exist in the ancient world nor (and this is important) was their absence felt, however indispensable they may seem to us."  [Colin H. Roberts and T. C. Skeat, _The Birth of the Codex_ (London: Oxford University Press, 1987) 73-74.]

Perhaps D'Alembert's defense of  the system he and Diderot used in their dictionary will be of interest to those who have searched in vain for a way out of paper or parchment or papyrus prisons.   The evolution of the book has always, from the addition of spaces between words in Greek and Roman texts to now (who knows the future?), has been fueled by the cycle of needs, met needs, and changing desires of scribes/writers/readers.


Those who don't know history are doomed to think only they can think.  [MSK, 2005]

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