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Macro-massive electronic systems (questions posed)

From: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 2010 21:34:48 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <610749.71930.qm@web82407.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
To: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Dear eGov Interest Groupies,

During my flight change in New Orleans yesterday, I got to thinking about 
something known as the Observer Effect and how it relates to pervasive 
electronic systems such as the world wide web.  A couple of questions bubbled 

First, is it appropriate to consider an ontology, a group of data and meta-data, 
or even an entire markup language that is functioning via the web as "massive", 
in that its associations are reflective of physical objects, associations, 
behaviors, and actions?  Does the electronic splendor of the virtual world of 
processing-instructions mirror a physical outcome relative to the mass to which 
these electrons are bound?

Secondly,  if the Observer Effect is to be understood as the change in an 
object's behavior due to the observation of that object, then is it possible to 
consider an Observer Effect associated within the realm of machine readable 
languages on the web?  Does meta-data hold a potential of carrying an Observer 
Effect upon itself and the data it specifies?   

Inside Louis Armstrong International Airport yesterday, I entered the gift shop 
and bought a New Orleans tee shirt.  At the cashier counter, as the cashier 
swiped my card and placed my new tee shirt in a bag, a couple of bags of chips 
on a rack behind her and to her side fell to the floor in a sort of domino 
effect.  She turned and looked at them fall, as I watched, too, so I asked, 
"What was that?  An earthquake?"  She responded, "It was a ghost."   I nodded, 
and agreed: "It was a hungry ghost!"

Michael A. Norton

Received on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 04:35:21 UTC

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