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Re: CHAT: Wayback philosophical issues x: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)

Date:Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 17:59
> [] On Behalf Of Nomad of
Norad -- David C Hall
> > I know won't be carrying on my sites. I had to > > threaten them with a copyright lawsuit to get them to take
> > domain down. The point was that I don't want obsolete > > information being posted. > > You know, it's interesting. I watched a documentary series in
the early
> to mid 90s about Charlie Chaplin, talking about his own
history and the
> history of his films, how he want about making them, and so
> > At one point, they mentioned that they'd found this private
> of all these films of his, ... > > This was something he'd wanted to keep hidden away from his
> his film fans, because he didn't want anyone to know *how*
he'd gone
> about crafting his films... but the unused footage had all
> preserved nonetheless.
> ....
> Now, I'm sure Charlie Chaplin didn't want people having "the
> versions of" his films (the older, unused footage), and had in
fact said
> as much. A bit like a magician not wanting anyone to actually
know how
> his illusions really work. And yet he'd kept all this footage
in his
> personal collection, and decades after his death, film
historians and
> the like discovered this cache of films and found it all
> invaluable in understanding not only the craft of his making
the movies,
> but also what kind of person he was in making them. And it
would have
> been a *ginormous* loss to the history and understanding of
film had he
> in fact burned all those reels of raw footage. It would have
> the world, and future historians, out of something precious
> irreplacable, because no one would ever have known HOW he made
> films, HOW his creative process actually worked, and > civilization would have been at a loss for that.
Let's say he just made films for his own hobby and kept them to himself for his whole life with no intention of anyone ever seeing them. It's only because of his fame that anyone takes any interest at all, and whether his works are of any value is really subjective. Nothing against Charlie Chaplin, but things like this are really only of interest to a small select group.
> You stated that you demanded that's Wayback
Machine delete
> all copies of your website, "[because] I don't want obsolete
> being posted." You misunderstand the fundamental purpose
behind the
> Wayback Machine. ...
No, I understand it's purpose. Once in a blue moon it does serve a purpose to look up a site or article that no longer exists elsewhere. I'm not hiding anything, just trying to control the quality of the information that is out there.
> Okay, so someone sees what your language page looked like in,
say, 1999
> (assuming it went back that far). Anyone that's interested in
> your language *for* *its* *own* *sake*, by definition, is
going to want
> to look at the most recent *copy* of it. If one day, you die,
and stop
> updating the site, and then the site goes byebye because of
course you
> stopped paying for the domain to be kept up... the
last-updated-copy of
> your site would still appear in Wayback for them to look at,
and to
> follow archived links from other sites to. Only those that
wanted to
> study the *evolution* of your language, study the *creative*
> you actually went through in creating it (separate and
distinct from the
> *implied* history of the development of the language as it is
said to
> have existed within the conworld you've created) -- directly
> to those film historians studying the proverbial "lost
footage" of
> Charlie Chaplin's dailies -- would still find it an invaluable
thing for
> those interested in the craft of creating conlangs and the
like, or of
> understanding how *your* creative processes worked, assuming
you ever
> became as important to literary history as Chaplin did to
motion picture
> history, or even if you didn't but had had *some* impact on
it, if ever
> so slight....
If I feel the evolution of my languages is of any importance, I'll publish those specifics myself. In fact the evolution of Sasxsek is fairly well documented by checking the Yahoo group where I post announcements of any changes, and sometimes solicit reactions to ideas that I have before making changes.
> I think the likelihood of "outdated copies of" your site
continuing to
> exist at Wayback has a snowball's chance in the Sahara of
> causing harm to the language, simply because *by*
*definition*, Wayback
> is designed to keep everything *up* *to* *and* *including* the
> updated copy of the page, and anyone that finds a link to your
page on
> an existing site, but finds the site has now gone, is more
than likely
> only going to WANT to look whatever the last (most recent)
> version was, and will therefore select whatever the last date
was, and
> only work his way backwards if the last (most recent)
preserved copy of
> the page turns out to be a cybersquatter page or a "We've
moved" page or
> something, at which point he'll work his way backwards to
FIND the
> last, actually complete copy of the page.
Yes, the outdated copies do create a problem which is why I asked to have them removed. They were showing up in search engine results. When I remove information from my site, it's because it's no longer something that I want in distribution, generally because it's been superceded by something else.
> The only thing you'd want to be concerned about was if someone
> MANUALLY made a public, mirror copy of your site at some
point and THEN
> stopped *updating* *it*. Wayback, by definition, ISN'T going
to do
> that, because they're *automated* and *by* *definition* will
> making updated mirrors of your site until *they* *cease* *to*
> (which means, by definition, your page goes byebye along with > *everything* that Wayback has preserved) or until doomsday
> whichever comes first.
Wayback only takes periodic snapshots anyway, so if there is an evolution to follow it will probably have gaps bigger than Nixon's tape.
> In short, I think you've got blinders on, and really should > rethink your stance on this.
I'm not looking for immortality so what happens after my demise has no relevance to me. If my works are so important then people should be thankful that I've gone to the time and trouble of publishing anything at all. If it's not important, then nobody will care, nor will they likely notice it. I've since switched to publishing most of my stuff in PDF format anyway. People can still download the PDF's and pass them around long afterward if there really is any interest. I figure if it's that important to someone, they will save it to their hard drive. That's what I do when I encounter material on the web that I find valuable, and the main reason is that I don't know if it will be there tomorrow. The other reason is that I can file it somewhere where it fits into the organizational schema I have for saving my files.