Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Deinde on The Myth of the Paperless Church

On Deinde "Tsar" makes some useful comments on Harold Scanlin's The Myth of the Paperless Church: Codex, Cognition and Christianity (mentioned here yesterday):

The Myth of Paper

I agree with the characterisation of the article:
While the majority of his article considers the codex and its effect on canon, he starts off by writing about the myth of the paperless office, which comes from the identically titled book by Sellen and Harper. Unfortunately, although he starts with this paragraph and names his article in line with it he doesn't dwell on this issue as it is relevant now.
Yes. Although the article is interesting, the title leads one to expect something slightly different. Scanlin begins by talking about paper's affordances as a reason for the unlikelihood that it will decline in importance. Tsar comments:
It is true that the electronic medium we have today is a poor substitute for the affordances of paper, but to be fair it is only recently that the affordances of this media have started to be realized. The trend since the 70's has been to recreate the properties of paper in an electronic format. Recently though the trend has shifted to understanding and applying the advantages of the electronic medium, such as XML format documents, wikis, dynamically generated pages among others. The important point here is that the strengths of electronic medium are not in the end user/content interaction but in the creation and transmission of the texts, precisely the areas that are of interest to Scanlin in his article but which he leaves unexplored.
One comment on the format of Deinde: it is a great deal easier to read on its blog-style main page than it is on its forum-style subpages. I wonder if all of the forum-style material could also be brought in to the main page with a permalink? Also, my own preference is to know who is writing what. The comments are intelligent and it would be nice to know who "Tsar" is.

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