You don’t make a bagel by first baking a bialy and then punching out the center. No—you roll out a snake of dough and join the ends together to form the bagel. If you denied that a bagel has a hole, you’d be laughed out of New York City, Montreal, and any self-respecting deli worldwide. I consider this final.
An awful lot of my thinking happens in the margins.
“In the event of a fire, the black-bound excerpts are to be saved first.”
—Jean Paul instructions to his wife before setting off on a trip in 1812 (as quoted in translation from Exhibition opening on March 4th: »Zettelkästen. Maschinen der Phantasie«)
Featured image: Heinrich Pfenninger, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
If you go the older route one of the best planet-like sites I’ve seen was http://connectedcourses.net/, which if I recall correctly was built by Alan Levine. If you poke around a bit or ask @cogdog on Twitter, I think there are some details or a recipe somewhere of how he put it together.
It’s also sort of founding example for the idea of social annotation given that most prior annotation was for personal use. (Though Owen Gingerich has shown that early annotations were copied from book to book and early scribes added annotations to texts for readers as well.)
It also demonstrates the idea of proof of work (in this case love “work”), which is part of the reason that social annotation in an educational setting using tools like Hypothes.is is worthwhile. Students are indicating (via social signaling) to a teacher that they’ve read and actively engaged with the course material.
Of course, unlike the example, they’re not necessarily showing “true love” of the material!
The writing I enjoy doing most, every year, is marginalia: spontaneous bursts of pure, private response to whatever book happens to be in front of me. It’s the most intimate, complete, and honest form of criticism possible — not the big wide-angle aerial shot you get from an official review essay, but a moment-by-moment record of what a book actually feels like to the actively reading brain. ❧
I also remember Anil Dash’s Stop Publishing Web Pages essay in August 2012 and then 4 months later The Web We Lost. Those garden-like pages were definitely something we’ve lost. We need more of them on the higher ground outside of the floodplain of the raging waters of the storming corporate rivers. A few babbling brooks, sympathetic streams, and cordial and comforting creeks would also be most welcome in our landscape.
I’m glad to see that some are pushing back—returning to publish on the web in old, new, and even different ways. Hopefully, as in nature, the gardens and fields flourish after the unrestrained wrath of the storm.