Jag har ju tjatat en hel del om Robin Sloan här, men jag måste bara få nämna hans roman Mr. Penumbras 24-Hour Bookstore (baserad på en novell publicerad 2009), en riktigt rolig fantasi som nog handlar en hel del om digital humaniora, men också en hel del om den tidiga bokens historia, typografi, “big data”, Ruby och klassisk science fiction. Utan att berätta för mycket kan man ändå säga att artikeln om knäckandet av Copiale-koden som jag länkade till häromdagen, liksom den här artikeln hos Wired om Google Spanner, är högst relevanta.
MJ: Your book deals a lot with immortality. Do you think things being invented on the internet are in some way not going to withstand time as well as physical literary works?
RS: There’s the challenge of: Is the language and the story strong enough to survive? Things made on the internet today don’t even get to test themselves against that standard because they’re still struggling at the level of compatibility and durability. So I would say right now there is no reason to believe that anything that anyone publishes on the internet will be around in five or ten years.
Now, things are changing really fast. I’m sure in the very early days of books, people were like, “I don’t know, man, I use mine like this, to start the fire.” Books have now matured to the point where they have this durability and they also have time to demonstrate their durability. I would say the internet has done neither. It’s not going to happen on its own. I think it’s really going to take people who have an interest in archiving and in continuity and durability to start to actually maybe redesign the way these things work.
Här kan man förresten höra honom läsa inledningen ur boken: