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Hall of mirrors, or: Them that's got, shall have, redux (23 Sep 2004)
Two, deeper: as you know, I'm always concerned about the social impact of automated systems. It strikes me as absolutely critical to the way that regard, esteem and respect work in human communities that people who have ideas be properly identified as same, that any system that improves the likelihood of this happening is a value to a community and that any system that diffuses or obscures the real sources of innovation may not be such a healthy thing.

Isn't it the content of an idea that's important, not who first gave voice to it? Well, yes and no. Sometimes it's of academic interest to identify the first articulation of a given idea. Sometimes it's of more than academic interest: many a seven-figure lawsuit has hinged on just such determinations of fact. Either way, attribution and its fruits have historically been important to the life chances of both those identified as innovators and their less well-favored counterparts.
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