Infinity and obscurity

June 22, 2006 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment

Bah!  Can't find it….

So I suggest infinitely expandable margins of the hypthetical NeoBook.  I read something somewhere that gave me the idea.  It was in a book about the Web, probably from a copyright point of view or about search…Lessig?  Vaidhyanathan? Battelle?  The essence of the discussion was that the size of the Internet or the web was mistakenly referred to, or thought of as infinite, when in fact the web is finite, but infinitely expandable.  Trying to search for the source, I came across a few interesting articles:

Is a networked book still a book?  which discusses e-books.

And some comments here:  "Unlike the finite expanse of the American frontier of the 19th century, cyberspace has no real nature and is, potentially, infinite. Its laws are malleable. It has no unassailable gravity or physics, and where the pioneers of the past explored a horizontal landscape, the navigator of cyberspace can go up, down, sideways, in or out, leaping into any old world whenever they please."

Then this chapter in a thesis (?) has another comment:  "The Web is usually considered as a collection of pages, in the same sense as in traditional Information Retrieval collections, but much larger. Under this assumption, the Web graph has a finite number of nodes in which measures such as diameter are well defined. This is fundamentally wrong. The amount of information in the Web at any given time is certainly finite, but when a dynamic page leads to another dynamic page, the number of pages can be potentially infinite."

Comments in Battelle's, The Search, seem to echo this statement – the links lead to infinity.

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Entry filed under: feed my pet brain.

NeoBooks Bit Literacy and Information Anxiety

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