Monday, October 17, 2005

The dimension of time 

Sean McGrath
Time is the concept that results when consciousness sees things changing state. Events are what happens when things change. Senses are the things we humans use to witness those events.

. . .

When I blog, I metamorphose myself for brief moments into an event stream source. I change things. Changing things triggers events. Other people and other processes, peruse the event stream I create. I feed the leeches.

I do this with a 'feed'. A periodically emitted atom [1] of change. Something to react to. Something to sense. Something to indicate the very passage of time.

. . .

What if we drag the red rose onto the web? What would that involve? Well, in the digital world, we work with representations of things, rather than smelly, oily visually arresting reality. Let us give our rose a URL:


. . .

Think about what you do all day. How much of it is down to responding to change? Quite a proportion I would imagine. How much business activity revolves around how things change with respect to time? Prices, stock levels, revenues, manufacturing rates, these are all examples of things that change with respect to time. Things for which monitoring any changes is key to the way we work.

Technologies like Atom and RSS, originally heralded as tools to allow diary-oriented web-pages (weblogs) and diary-oriented feeds to be mass produced, are something much grander to my mind.

They are nothing less than the addition of a new dimension to the web.

The dimension of time.

Topics: RSS | Time | Workflow

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