Felix Stalder on 4 Feb 2001 01:46:38 -0000

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Re: <nettime> amazon: "slaves to wall street"

>but i digress. what interested me about your note was how (imo)
>it quite misses the fundamental point that amazon is *entirely*
>in keeping with the whole f---ing point of the web, which was
>more or less to make chasing footnotes down *convenient*. boring
>but true: read something, see a citation, and jump to it without
>having to haul your bum to the library. with amazon (and other
>online booksellers) the only modification to this model is that
>it involves an explicit financial transaction and the delivery
>of an object. from berners-lee to bezos: la plus a change...


this is a suggestive parallel, but one that seems incorrect.  The driving
idea behind the development of the web, in particular for Berners-Lee, was
*collaboration* through the cross-referencing of live documents, ie. works
in progress that could influence one another. Berners-Lee quite
deliberately wrote a browser and an editor at the same time and it was only
later with Mosaic/Netscape that the two functions became separated.
Similarly, the "open source" character of html (everyone could, and still
can, look at the code and adapt it for their own purposes) was a deliberate
choice to make decentralized, bottom-up collaboration via the web possible.


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