Vast Piles

Voice Card  -  Volume 28  -  John Card Number 13  -  Sat, Jun 12, 1993 12:11 AM

This is a response to VC 28 Paul 4 ("In-complete Agreement")...


I have written this paragraph in Word and will now copy it to the clipboard, switch to HyperCard, and use the auto-importing feature to create a reply card with the imported text in place. Total time for my snail-paced SE to import canned text by this method is...

26 seconds. Total time to import the same chunk of text to an existing voice card using the Import Text feature...

10 seconds. Experiments have shown that even very large text blocks will arrive just as quickly. Hence my claim that "It takes only a few seconds to copy and paste ten thousand words..." Of course I did not include the careful hours you spent selecting your text from the ocean that runs through your workstation every day.

As for the larger issue:

I stand by my previous card. No one disputes that your selections were interesting and entertaining. I simply found the volume of imported text excessive (especially in relation to your consistently superb original prose). The count, I repeat, was over 13,000 imported words, over 26 imported words for every original word. This strikes me as too much of a good thing. But I certainly do NOT want you or anyone else to stop "pilfering" text altogether!

Your assertion that I am trying to "focus" Archipelago is, I think, both correct and astute. I do feel a shepherd's need to herd the wandering cards a bit, not to discourage them from wandering (heaven forbid!) but to get them wandering in the right direction, to make them more, I don't know... more revealing.

I often ask myself what it is about Archipelago that sets it apart from a mere bulletin board. My hope has always been that it will grow in such a way that we will all come to value it more and more as the years accumulate. This, in turn, makes me wonder what kind of voice cards I would be likely to cherish from the perspective of my rocking chair.

I suspect that I will not particularly value text dumps written by strangers. I think that I will be much more interested in cards that reveal the inner workings of a friend's heart or remind me of the way I used to view the world. Even by these criteria your imported articles are not without long-term value, if only because the pattern of your selections is itself so revealing. But these canned cards will never compete, I believe, with cards written in your own words for your own purposes.

Such are my instincts. What do the rest of you think?