To Exist Digitally

Lonely Tree

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: sant.o via Compfight

If you cannot point to something digitally, does it really exist? Craig Mod asks this somewhat rhetorical but pertinent question. The specific context was an interview with Haruki Murakami and the desire to point to interesting quotes therein.

Craig goes on to answer the question, saying:

To not exist means in part to be offline…To not exist digitally means to be walled off. Silo’d. Unpointable…Unnetworked (even if it’s on the network). It’s means to not be part of that growing corpus.

What I find interesting is the notion of Unpointable and Unnetworked, the former easy to understand and the latter difficult to follow through properly.

Unnetworked is the baby step taken by the real-world towards a digital world, where the information is present online but not part of a corpus.

Unnetworked is Unfindable, which effectively renders the artifact invisible.

Unnetworked is Unpointable, not amenable to be linked to.

For example every digital document produced by tools of the PC world, like Word/Excel/PDF is unlinkable. Or take proprietary professional content sets sold with a sprinkling of metadata thrown in. All unlinkable.

Am willing to bet that an ecosystem that survives on being unlinkable will slowly diminish in relevance and business value. Whether it is a corporate strategy that relies on exclusive access to proprietary information, or document formats of the PC world engineered for being printed on paper, or any tool that produces information that cannot be linked to will and should go away.

What is your take, is Unlinkable as big a deal as I think it is?

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