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Re: Change is expensive

In reply to “Change is expensive” by Frode Hegland. This is mostly sequential commentary in the order of paragraphs in the source. Would work better in a system that supports annotations, side-by-side, visibly connected.

Where change is expensive, wouldn’t make it sense to work on making it cheaper? The example of Engelbart shows that change can be made sufficiently cheap so it becomes affordable to have lots of it. Who cares about actually changing standards (?) if you can have and make lots of them? Better to have standards than everybody doing their own thing in an incompatible, conflicting way! Isn’t the knowledge worker somebody with highly specialized needs, tools, methods, habits, training?

PDF is fine for print and frozen rendering snapshots/images. WordPress and HTML are getting worse in terms of support for text, but with some effort can be done well enough. Wonder how a PDF reader or generator or a web browser comes onto the user’s machine if not via setup, except we’re in the days of passive, exploited users already who buy their computing devices as dedicated appliances, throwing it away and buying a new one if different software functionality is needed. That’s not technology by the way, it’s consumerism, and can’t do a thing.

If there’s tech that’s supposed to help the knowledge worker (beyond his/her brain and sensory), I guess there’s no way around having geeks making it work, otherwise it simply won’t work and the knowledge worker is back at doing stuff as it was done since the beginning of time. Systems available for knowledge workers they can use to develop deeper literacy, a precondition is that these systems exist and were built by someone, and it depends on the how if they’re a good basis for enabling/powering the development of deeper literacy, in contrast to artificially or unnecessarily restricting it. But yeah, the knowledge worker doesn’t need to care much about what’s under the hood, if the tech that’s in there actually works well enough.

Why care much about Hypothesis in particular, the open web standard is Web Annotation of course, why wouldn’t that be perfectly fine already to solve a whole range of problems? It’s far from perfect, I don’t like it too much, but at least one can work with/from it in comparison to have no standard at all. Just for completeness, there are other viable standards for the same thing as well (probably even interchangable/convertable), for example Ted Nelson’s EDL.

Workflows are comprised of many individual steps, at each of which you can divert from standards or use different sets of standards. I don’t see any limitation with such an approach, to the contrary: workflows are a strategy for introducing more flexibility. Also, “workflows”, that’s plural. Note that there are some more other ways of how to talk and think about this, but they’re less prominent in some circles up to this point.

As Liquid | Author is on the right track, if this tool does its job, great! There are just loads and loads of different jobs out there, so not everybody necessarily, exclusively cares about a single one in particular. I’m just personally wondering about the interoperability part, how could my stuff possibly interoperate with Liquid | Author, how could I possibly make it to? I guess that’s where standards come in, right?

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