Re: [-empyre-] C. S. Peirce and Code

around the 17/10/05 mentioned about Re: [-empyre-] C. S. Peirce and Code that:
the blog is a very linear form of writing, it has a beginning which is easily
identifiable and most of them have an end, thankfully
as for "real" (?) hypertext I would say that they all have a beginning too,
finding the end is more problematic, it could be said that when you have been
thru all the items it is that you have reached the end
or, in this piece
the end is when you are getting bored with it.

from my (blogging and hypertext) perspective this belies a misunderstanding about what a blog is.

I write a blog. It supports trackback. You write in your blog and link to my post. This connection is recorded by my blog as a trackback. Where does my blog begin and end? Yours? I stopped writing 12 months ago. Trackbacks still accrue. is my blog 'ended'? If links are the economy here (and they are) then it seems specious to think that my blog is 'finished' or has an 'end'.

All works have a literal beginning and end. This was done to death in naive criticism of hypertext circa 1996. They are not nonlinear. They are multilinear. Where does my blog begin? the first post? why? Since that is now at the *end* of the temporal fragments (if you wanted to read in the usual reverse temporal order). Perhaps it begins with the first link in to my blog? To the blog or to an individual post? Does that matter? All of these are beginnings, all legitimate. So yes, there is a beginning, but it isn't *the* beginning. And that is a difference.

Blogs are emergent ecologies that rely on links. Links are the fundamental transaction. (See Weinberger, Walker, Tosca, and myself for stuff on this.) They are an excess (in Bataille's sense of a general economy) that blogs celebrate, even when business is busy trying to appropriate them (but as an excess this will always only be partial). They are porous to the network in ways that most other writing to the web, certainly everyday popular writing, never achieved. Every current system of authority in blogging (as far as I know), relies on links in to determine authority. I cannot write links in. I am subject to the network for that.

This is exciting and novel. It is emergent, it has strange attractors and threshold states. And yes, there are bad blogs. There are bad novels too, and bad films (music, dance, plays). But the worst blogs are those that mistake network ecologies for diary writing :-)
Adrian Miles


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