[Air-l] Internet as a database?

jeremy hunsinger jhuns at vt.edu
Sun Jan 12 20:21:40 PST 2003

mark poster has some writing related to this in mode of information i 
think.  however, i think that one of the things we have to be clear 
about is what this metaphor means, if anything, because a database is a 
fairly encompassing concept, everything from a simple text file with 
indexing and query, to xhtml/semantic web, xml systems, object oriented 
data repositories, acid/relational databases all can be thought of as 
databases.  more and more it is less clear to me what we can consider 
not  a database.  for the most part, most cmc systems and many modern 
interfaces run off of some sort of data structure that very well could 
be thought of as a database.  i mean one can make a text file, or data 
representation operate like a database or perhaps simulate a database 
by building an abstraction layer on it to provide that functionality, 
so is it a text file or a database?  now, the real problem might be the 
reason why this matters, and i think that ends up being a question of 
political economy, ownership, production, rights, data freedoms, etc. 
which are less controllable in simple text even xml, than they are 
embedded as a data structure in a database...
jeremy hunsinger
jhuns at vt.edu
on the ibook

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