The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Saturday, September 23, 2000

The Electric Talmud anyone?

I'm reading Synergetics by R. Buckminster Fuller, and as I'm reading, I'm noticing that each paragraph is numbered and I'm thinking that applying the techniques I did to the King James Bible would be appropriate for this as well. At the same time I'm making notes in a notebook, prefaced by the paragraph number I'm making notes on.

But I've also been reading the WikiWikiWeb, which allows anyone to edit the text.

My mind then wanders to the Talmud, used by Jewish scholars to study the first five books of the Old Testament (aka the Pentarch). The Talmud not only contains the text of the books, but commentary added by various scholars and authors over the years as they interpret and reinterpret the passages.

So then I got this idea—mix the Electric King James Bible and the WikiWikiWeb to allow people to leave commentary on the Bible. Or maybe set it up with the Constitution of the United States. The actual text from the work in question (the Bible or the Constitution) can't be edited, but the commentary (like the WikiWikiWeb) can.

I like the idea but there are details to work out. For instance, there's a lot that could be said for Genesis 1.1, yet the commentary for just that verse might not be appropriate for Genesis 1 as a whole. So the problem is how to handle commentary that is particular to specific portions of the work, with portions that might overlap. I have a few ideas but I need to think on this a bit more.

As well as finish some of the work I've already started.

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