I have heard that it has been long the case that in the great theological
colleges of Rome, one can pass one's exams if one knows where to
find the answer. The answer itself isn't required.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tom Gray 
  To: [log in to unmask] 
  Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 8:33 AM
  Subject: Re: Changing times

  I hope this is in keeping with the topic but the change enabled by the new networks  is not primarily concerned with hypertext. The change is concerned with the distinction between Popper's second and third worlds. From Amazon down to the current operations such as My Space and Facebook, Internet successes are concerned with social networking. They succeed if they bring people together and fail if they do not.

  In Popper's second world knowledge is held by people. In his third world knowedge is held in books. The change that is occurring results form the enablement of the second world for the masses of people. The university was constituted to create communities in which knowledge could flourish. The new networks enable communities outside of the academy.  Wikipedia is the convergence of many communities. Perhaps if Diderot were alive today he would see it as a viable alternative to the system he developed for the encyclopedia. 

  The second world is asserting the primacy that it has always had over the third.
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Marcia Karp 
    To: [log in to unmask] 
    Sent: Saturday, April 08, 2006 9:51 AM
    Subject: Re: Changing times

    Rickard A. Parker wrote:

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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