Monday, August 16, 2010

Its all about the smudges

There is a profound issue underlying this article on Documentation capturing from a legal perspective.

Unless we find ways of preserving work-in-progress in our digital world we will be the first major civilization to leave no traces behind the great intellectual works it produced. No pentimenti for the visual arts. No Scribbledehobbles for the literary arts.

This is not just a tweedy humanities issue. Fastidious recording of how written works come to say what they say, needs to be a central concern of democracy. Without it, there is no transparency. Democracy and the rule of law cannot work without transparency. A corpus of law is a bit like a humongous novel but unlike literary novels, it never gets finished. It is always a work in progress.

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