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  1. The reference power we get as academics with access to ATHENS or SHIBBOLETH is almost boundless. I recall an American professor in the 1980s lecturing us on new technology, waxing enthusiastic about our future ability to enter and explore every university library in the world. Much later in 1995 I and my children made our first flight into cyberspace (a name coined by a science fiction writer William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’). Later I wrote a chapter – Baddeley, S (1997) “Governmentality” in Brian Loader (ed.) (1997) The Governance of Cyberspace (London:Routledge) (5) 64-96. It included these enthusiastic lines…

    QUOTE: CYBERSPACE AS CATHAY….Contact with even the fringes of the data wealth of the Internet has thrown me into superficiality – paddling not surfing. What is currently available on the World Wide Web is only a taster for what is presaged, with increased bandwidth, the multiplication of servers and information providers. It realises, even more than with newspapers and radio, Eliot’s condition of being “too conscious and conscious of too much”. I wander around a labyrinth as enchanting, in its own way, as the British Museum Library, before its move to St.Pancras[4], or the great Library at Trinity College, Dublin, with the dust-specked beams of sunlight just missing the carefully protected Book of Kells in its glass case, or the bookshops of Charing Cross Road or Hay-on-Wye on a chilly rainy autumn afternoon. I download and unzip material. Layer upon layer of reference tempts me onwards, diving through texts and icons through servers to other servers and home by different routes. I retrace my trail and find side exits that become the main trail. I follow trails laid out by others. I hit dead-ends and retracing my steps discover exits into new branching tunnels. It’s intoxicating and yet recalls alarm I felt as a child watching the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Disney’s Fantasia. Back and forth I roam into the early hours down-loading buckets from the Pierian spring. I exhort myself to define my objectives, while another part of me pleads respect for the interactive conventions of new paradigm research (Reason 1988). Every time I decide what I really want to know I read something that tempts me to type in another search word, another Boolean term to extend my enquiry back and forth via addresses at Stanford, Tokyo, Oslo, Towson State, Florence, Durban, Harvard, Ann Arbor, Tel-Aviv, Edinburgh, Princeton, New York, Göteborg, Melbourne, Mexico City, Cambridge, Colorado, Kobe, Geneva, Rio, London, Massachusetts, Marseilles – to and fro and on and on, half-hoping the magician will return, and after stern reproof, tidy everything up. This connectionist ramble will not submit to two-dimensional mind-maps. The trees bifurcate and bifurcate and form new nodes from which further branches expand and divide. I envy infinite memory, then recall Borges’ Funes the Memorius who, having perfect memory, took as long recalling as he did perceiving. At the foot of the screen I see hours have slipped by. There are sixty pages in my printer raising more ideas to explore tomorrow….END QUOTE

  2. […] his recent keynote, at the WWW2012, Tim Berners-Lee talked about the importance of the openness and urged for governments to embrace the movement of open data. Following that, you showed me how […]

  3. […] such as censorship, surveillance and concentrations of power. Back in 2012, I was one of the presenters at the World Wide Web (WWW) conference in Lyon, France, where the founder of the Web, Tim Berners-Lee in his inspiring keynote made a plea for a […]

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