Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Interesting idea of keeping changelogs of RSS feeds over at Feedster with an essentially interesting discussion as well – essentially, because not every post seems to be impartial or completely free of bias. More detailed thoughts on identity and edits are available.

I still think that aside from it being rather cool to be able to 'rewind' the web, having an archive of changes would be good. To begin with I don't think there is too much harm done: If you post something, you mean it to be read by the public. If you are too impulsive to handle that, you better shouldn't. If you say something that's stupid or insulting, there is always a chance to learn better or apologise. If you're in a position where you have to get absolutely everything right the first time around, then again probably airing your opinion on things on a daily basis probably isn't the best thing for you.

I can see the point about saying that sometimes it's better to just delete some text than to have it archived somewhere as the text may harm somebody else than the writer. That's certainly the best argument I heard against archiving things. However, I would have hoped that – particularly in the supposedly touchy-feely world of blogging – people are considerate enough to delete such statements before posting anything.

What really pisses me off about the idea of people making substantial changes to their texts without notice is the fact that I might link to them. Losing the trust that people will own up to what they said could make the very act of linking useless. While technically a 'permalink' may be considered a link that doesn't stop working, it certainly should be a link that keeps linking to the same text. Other people breaking my links because they changed their mind annoys me – regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them.

Of course this phenomenon is even more important if you disagree – possibly strongly – on a topic with someone else. Blogs could be seen as platforms for public discussion but they'll surely stop being useful at that if people delete critical passages that other people may be referring to. Your opponent's position can become quite elusive this way – a bit like the position of a politician or a bar of soap.

A thing to learn from this discussion seems to be that blogs are not platforms for discussion or argument. As other people put it, it's more about 'conversations', friendly chit-chat, blog-noise, if you wish. But we secretly knew this all-along anyway... The good news thus is: There are very few people affected by this and nobody in the real world cares.

I know I have done this before, but one more thing...

Who Controls the Past, Controls the Future.
Who Controls the Present, Controls the Past.

George Orwell, 1984

July 18, 2003, 1:10

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Trackback “Nothing To Hide” from freeform goodness:

If I said it, I meant to say it and I’ll stand behind it.

July 18, 2003, 1:46

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