Common Record and Information Chaos

HUCO 500 – Weekly Questions:

There is a new profession of trail blazers, those who find delight in the task of establishing useful trails through the enormous mass of the common record. (Bush)

The idea of “common record” as the well of all human knowledge is interesting: could the Internet be thought of as the “common record”?  Does such a profession of “trail blazers” for the ‘Net exist?

The more complex the materials, the more abstract and/or cumbersome the edition becomes. (McGann)

Does the use of computing to create electronic hypertexts (“HyperEditing”) solve this problem, or complicate it further?  Even at the period when Bush was writing, the fear of information overload/information chaos is explicitly felt.  Does hypertext address this fear, or does it simply introduce new ways in which information chaos can manifest itself?

Readings:

Bush, Vannevar. “As We May Think.” Altantic Monthly.176.1 (1945): 101-108. | download annotated

McGann, Jerome. “The Rationale of Hypertext.” ADHO, 1995. | download annotated

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