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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Hierarchy and paper are wrong and insufficiently general

posted: Sep 16, 2003 1:15:58 PM

I just came across, read, and enjoyed Ted Nelson's keynote from the ACM Hypertext 2003, Nottingham, Structure, Tradition and Possibility (which I found via Danny Ayers).

I have mentioned Ted Nelson a number of times in this blog and, like my post XML is not an improvement but a hierarchy hamburger, my title for this post also derrives from one of Nelson's provacative statements.

I think that Nelson's observations are correct and insightful. If you are working with information, you should study him!! But, until his or others' works becomes commonly usable, it seems like many people need to keep considering and working on different approaches on how to play with information in its more loosely joined, non-hierarchic and not-a-piece-of-paper-like form.

Also, I have mentioned it before, but also recommended in this context is Malcolm Gladwell's The Social Life of Paper, which is an excellent perspective.

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