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   Re: RE: [xml-dev] Generality of HTTP

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1/25/02 3:17:36 PM, Mike Champion <mc@xegesis.org> wrote:

>1/25/2002 3:37:54 PM, "Bullard, Claude L (Len)" <clbullar@ingr.com> 
>>There ain't no The Web.  Just a bunch of 
>>pieces hooked up and variously reliable 
>>each according to their owner's intentions 
>>... Just As God Intended. :-)
>I'm not sure what the point of this subthread is ... if it's to deny 
>that "The Web" exists because it can't be unambiguously defined, then 
>that leads to all sorts of black holes.  (Does "Len Bullard" exist 
>since  he consists of a different set of cells than he did when his 
>parents named him?  Where EXACTLY is the canonical set of neurons and 
>synpses that define the one and only Len Bullard?  If it turns out 
>that the "Len Bullard" who posts here is really just an AI experiment 
>that the "real" Len Bullard created to give him time to do his day 
>job, do they both exist?) <grin>
>If it is to suggest that all the wailing and gnashing about 
>preserving the purity of the Web Architecture is misdirected energy, 
>because "The Web" is a fuzzy set of all sorts of ideas and 
>technologies that more or less interoperate most of the time, then 
>I'm inclined to agree.

I think the point is that "The Web" is an emergent phenomenon of all those varyingly hooked-up 
pieces, just as Len Bullard is an emergent phenomenon of a bunch of ever-changing cells, and that 
treating it as if it were a physical object would be committing the fallacy of reification.  A 
person, a river, or a Web are in many ways best thought of as processes rather than things.


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