A Document Turn Ahead?
In connection with the development of ICT, many have envisioned having all "content" in one huge database, the world-brain, getting rid of the disturbing frames and borders in the analog world, a vision which is still kept alive by Google and several others. At the same time, the digital world becomes more and more diversified, having an infinite number of virtual communities with a lot of different databases using many different media and media combinations.
Several current research projects focus on framing and capturing content across all these distributed resources into something useful and relevant. The huge amount of data available is not only an advantage, but is also a source of very complex problems of dividing up and selecting from the huge amount of data.
In 1964 the French philospher Roland Barthes said: "meaning is above all a cutting-out of shapes" and he might have predicted the major challenge in a digital age. He said: "looking into the distant and perhaps ideal future, we might say that semiology and taxonomy, although they are not yet born, are perhaps meant to be merged into a new science, arthrology, namely, the science of apportionment." As I see it, this can be considered as a prediction of a document turn. On April 7 I will explain why and how.