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Quantum effects [was Re: Macro-massive electronic systems (questions posed)]

From: Sean McGrath <sean.mcgrath@propylon.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 12:06:07 -0500
Message-ID: <4C5AEF7F.6020109@propylon.com>
To: Mike Norton <xsideofparadise@yahoo.com>
CC: MCrompton@iispartners.com, public-egov-ig@w3.org
Mike Norton wrote:
> 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?   
The Observer Effect, in my opinion, applies to most of the worlds "born 
digital" document corpus. Right down in the bowels of HTTP, content is 
"negotiated" based on the observer (the browser) asserting capabilities 
and a suitable rendering being generated in response. Different set of 
observer capabilities yields a different rendering.

As the web has become more and more dynamic (i.e. active page templates 
of various forms), the Observer Effect has kicked up another notch. 
Nowadays, the actual content you get back when you observe a resource 
via http includes who you are, where you are, what you looked at 
yesterday etc. etc. Two users could observe the same resource (e.g. 
igoogle.com) and get completely different content back.

For many applications, it does not matter. In fact, for many 
applications it is a great boon! However, in some areas such as legal 
materials it matters a great deal. More than most folk realize in my 

I have written about it here
in the context of law and law-making.

It may be of interest.

Sean McGrath
Received on Thursday, 5 August 2010 18:59:10 UTC

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