Thought for the day: Are hyperlinks political? Sure, our personal politics could be inferred with reasonable accuracy by the stuff we choose to link to, but…
Started thinking of this after a comment Sausage made while I was reading the following sentence in one of the legal doc’s around the 2600 Magazine DeCSS lawsuit: “Hyperlinks are the very core of the Web, and an integral part of online dialogue about this case, connecting readers of 2600 with other supporters of the magazine and their political statements. As such, hyperlinks are expression that demands the full range of First Amendment protection.” Full document here.
This is stirring stuff. If you’re remotely interested in the preservation (and, in fact, enhancement) of free speech through the Web – leave this blog right now, click on the link above and read this document. Quite apart from the fact that it’s just superbly written, this stuff is really, really important.
There’s numerous threads weaving together in this thought stream:
- Hyperlinks as political statements.
- The tension between Blogging as an ego-serving exercise balanced by the fundamental nature of any blog to point away from itself – which is almost Platonist.
- Dimly remembered scraps of Wittgenstein – the whole thing about pictures only having meaning when they direct attention away from themselves to the situation depicted. Deflective attention, something like that. I’ll have to ask David about this stuff – he’s the only real philosopher I know (Tangent: Can we really “know” a philosopher? In what sense can a philosopher really be “real”? Yipe! I think I just came over all moebian!)
- The ties between blogging and “uploading” (again).
- Blogging as a public access map of one’s interests, desires, values, views, opinions, relationships.
What bloggers are building is a P-web, of sorts. It’s like Don Tapscott’s B-Web, but on a person-to-person level.
Much to noodle, much to noodle…
If I figure any of this out into some kind of coherent narrative, I’ll post more. Meanwhile – anyone else want to pick up some of these thought threads and tug ‘em to see how it unravels, I’d be glad of the help. There’s an email link at top of the page.