Hyperclipping

There is a pattern common to myself and others – putting pieces of writing writing into other pieces of writing – books. Sometimes it is relevant to the reading – an obituary of the author tucked away in the table of contents. Other times it is not even related – a birthday card that suffices as a bookmark.

It makes me think about how we embed writing into other writing on the web. A newspaper article clipping is replaced by a hyperlink to take you to said newspaper article. Sure, the tactility is lost, but deep down I wonder what else is.

Reminds me of Ted Nelson's qualm with “cut-and-paste” as adopted by early computing:

To me that was an outrage because no one has yet got a decent re-arrangement system that allows you to see the all the parts of the arrangement as you’re writing. Those words meant something entirely different until 1984. Balzac, the French novelist, carried a razor blade around his neck for cutting up his manuscript. Tolstoy would cut up his manuscripts and leave all the pieces around the floor. This is true cut-and-paste, where you’re re-arranging on a large scale and able to see the relationships between parts.