We reconsider what we expect of a writer and how we hope to lighten their burden when writing here.
We expect a writer to have something worth saying and to say it with sufficient clarity that we benefit from the reading. We acknowledge that all meaning comes from shared experience either direct or through more writing.
When publication is expensive there is savings in careful editing to make a work complete on to itself and lasting in its scholarship. Not true anymore.
If I read you while you write can I think less of you because your ideas are incomplete? Of course not. I learn how you approach writing. Where I see your process diverge from mine I see opportunity to learn.
Typesetting conventions carried over into word processing unchallenged for they raised the desktop printed page to respect beyond its due. Occasional italic or bold, superscript or footnote, bullet or subhead, all made reading and writing more difficult while serving those who were not actually read.
If I italicise a word I am saying I give this word special meaning without saying what that meaning is. Wink. Wink.
But if I use a word in a sentence structure that depends on special meaning then I offer a silent clue that you are with me or you are not. If not, look up for more background.
When I write daily in a site I reserve the right to use words there in special ways. My reader likewise deserves some path to understanding what my words mean. The pages close to Welcome Visitors should offer that path. With that my duty has been done.
You write what you think as a gift to me. When I learn and improve your thought you should be satisfied to have touched the world.
When you offer complete pages to the commons I will take the ones I want. I have some obligation to my own readers to help them understand why I valued your work.
The license we use expects attribution which is met by the journal. We ask for attribution more as a service to the ultimate reader than a distribution of credit between us.
We exist in a world with obsolete views of original expression that must be satisfied. Those who will publish in this world have additional tracking mechanisms available. It is there responsibility alone to be sure they have used them well.
We understand that each of us is struggling to understand the world and each other as best we can. Through that struggle we find new truths and abandon misconceptions.
An honest writer transcribes their understanding of the moment without any intentional deceit. We as reader must consider the age and context of any expression and forgive words that do not survive past this context.
An author would be wise to limit the scope of writing in any particular site to a range of thought that can be revisited and revised as their understanding improves. A reader should check the currency of everything they read.
We rely on the domain name system (dns) and the rules of the internet corporation for assigned names and numbers (icann) for individual identity in wiki.
We anticipate cryptographic replacements but for the moment this is what we have.
An author of substance has responsibility to make their work persistent with the dns system. This involves renting names and directing these to working servers. This is no more complicated than keeping perennial plants blooming year to year but neither will survive neglect.
An author who builds on the works of others shares some responsibility for preserving the original. Directly cited pages should be forked into derivative works. Highly valued authors deserve even more attention.
Long term we can expect dns and even cryptographic systems to break down. If our federation continues to grow we can expect item id based mining mechanisms to preserve the most valued expressions. Should this not work we are all doomed.