In Praise of Evolvable Systems (01 Mar 1998)
The Web, in its earliest conception, was nothing more than a series of pointers. It grew not out of a desire to be an electronic encyclopedia so much as an electronic Post-it note. The idea of keeping pointers to ftp sites, Gopher indices, Veronica search engines and so forth all in one place doesn't seem so remarkable now, but in fact it was the one thing missing from the growing welter of different protocols, each of which was too strong to interoperate well with the others.
Article URL: http://www.shirky.com/writings/evolve.html
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