In Response To: Chuck
On: The Toronto Synopsis
CHUCK: If you're reading Mk, say, and are curious about how Mt or Lk are
worded, you click on their icons and the parallel passages immediately
appear beside Mk. You don't have to know in advance where the passages are,
you don't have to look them up in some index. Works the same way for Mt and
Lk. I find it invaluable. I invite you to give it a spin.
BRUCE: I gave it a spin. I noticed that feature. I reported that feature. I
admit that the feature is cute. But I don't find that the feature gives me
any more *information* than, say, Huck/Throckmorton. The only thing that can
be said in its favor is that the online version is a Huck/Throckmorton which
turns the pages all by itself. I can still turn my own pages, thank you, and
I think the work that went into the page-turning version of
Huck/Throckmorton (save perhaps for the options that add in John, Thomas, or
Paul, which are not common in most printed synopses) could have been better
employed elsewhere. As to Synoptic *information,* my previous impression
Is the field so rich that it can afford to expend this much, for this
The Internet these days, at least in the eyes of many, is self-justifying,
and no amount of time and money, whether personal or institutional, that is
poured into the Internet is ever felt to be disproportionate. Some
institutions, including the University of Virginia, have virtually invested
their future reputations in this direction. I venture to wonder at this
attitude, and to question the wisdom of this policy.
I once scheduled a UVa speaker on a panel I was organizing. Her topic was
appropriate. But she did not address her topic. She spent her entire time
talking, not about her topic, but about her web site. She was asked by the
moderator to resume her topic while there was still time left in her time
slot. She continued to talk about her web site. She talked to the end of her
time, and to the end of her allotted question period, about her web site. It
was an embarrassment for our Project, which organized the panel, and I think
also a defeat for intellect.
Personally, I am wary of ground on which intellect has sustained so many
defeats in the past. I recommend to the vigorous newcomer, in this and any
other field of intellectual endeavor, to go light on the fun and games, and
stay focused on media that don't plug in. Comes a power grid failure, and
then where are you? Answer: you are still in business. Just light a candle.
Or, use your memory. Memory is the best computer.
E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst