RE: [unrev-II] Attribution

From: Garold L. Johnson (
Date: Sun Dec 24 2000 - 18:29:17 PST

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    -----Original Message-----
    From: Eric Armstrong []

    "Garold L. Johnson" wrote:
    > > A better alternative, if feasible, would be attributions attached to
    > > every phrase in the node....
    > This is Ted Nelson’s passion. ... Nelson viewed
    > the attributed quotation mechanism as the basis for a royalty scheme
    > that would pay authors for the amount of their work that was viewed no
    > matter what document it was quoted in.
    Monetary compensation might enter into the picture, of course.
    But what we're finding as the prime motivator for
    open source tools (beyond having the tool written) is

    Appreciation, recognition, having a sense of being a valuable
    contributor to a community -- call it what you will, as
    social primates, it is possibly the most powerful motivator
    in our bag, right up there with food, shelter, and a mate.

    We're wired so that we do a heck of a lot of things for the
    approval of others that just would not make sense any other
    way! Football comes to mind. Take the biggest guys you can
    find and have them run headlong into each other. Right!
    That's not crazy? (And I'm a fan!)

    But social acceptance and team approval, and suddenly its a
    highly desirable pastime!

    But back to the point...

    While monetary compensation could be cool, it could also be
    a huge damper. Where does the money COME from? If I have to
    pay, I probably won't quote anybody (cheap bastard that I
    am). Hell, I'm not good enough right now at acknowledging
    all the people that give me ideas. Hate to think what it would
    be like if I (and others) had to pay to do it.)

    So, while I agree that attribution is 100% necessary, I
    disagree entirely with the notion of tying it to monetary
    compensation. It runs counter to the social mores of
    academia where "building a name" is deemed laudable, and
    where complete and accurate attribution is deemed a

    [Garold L. Johnson] Money or no money is totally not the point. The point is
    that the technology for tracking and propagating attribution was something
    that Ted Nelson worked out in Xanadu. What you do with the “points” that add
    up is completely irrelevant to the technology needed to support the
    accounting. I am simply suggesting that there is little chance of starting
    from scratch and successfully second guessing an effort that took several
    decades in development. Even if the only point of attribution is
    traceability to originating source, the required technology is the same.


    Garold (Gary) L. Johnson

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