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石田英敬|The Future of the Web :Is our Web truly the best one of the possible Webs ?


Hidetaka Ishida (University of Tokyo)

The Future of the Web of the Future

Is our Web truly the best one of the possible Webs ?



A huge Library is under construction, the true Universal Library announced by the Borges’ fiction absorbing actually our real Universe. People now know each other by books (facebook), their everyday home life take place on pages (homepage), they communicate by mails(e-mail), they whisper each five minutes with less than 140 characters (twitter). The commodity distribution network is monopolized by a single chain of bookstores (Amazon), all industrial products are ontologically registered in the categories books. The entire surface of the Earth is thus becoming a desktop where jumble strewn all kinds of things-books. These things-books communicate one another : the IoT (Internet of Things) is actually an intertext of books-things: the things are now indistinguishable ontologically from books. Betraying the prophecy of McLuhan, we’re not out of the Gutenberg Galaxy, we are now at a Age of Hyper Gutenberg Galaxy.

My talk aims to tackle this difficult and complex question: “Are we right to stay in this Web Universe and thus to continue this Universal Library Project ?” The Project has its patronymic in G. W. Leibniz, with his Scientia generalis and Mathesis universalis, with his Ars Combinatoria and Characteristica universalis. He was librarian and initiator of the project for the Universal Library and also the Encyclopedia. The Moderns prolonged and continued the universal project, as stated Borges, and even the Post or Post-Post Moderns … For the WorldWideWeb by Tim Berners-Lee with HTML and HTTP comes from a kind of reading-circle activities for CERN, and the Google, one of whose founders patronymic name is Page (!) , had its origin in a project for a new library of the university.

The questions “Is our Web truly the best one of the possible Webs ? ” or “Is there any better or the best Web of the future”, are thus inseparable from the problematic of the Universal model of the Library, of the Books, of the Texts and of the Characters. Ted Nelson, original visionary of the Hypertext, for example, points out the deficiency of the actual Web as vice of simulation of Paper. So to conceive an alternative web and to liberate a true “force of reticulation”, should we abandon the Page Book and library Model ? Should we definitively get the Universe of Web out of the Universal Library ? Wouldn’t it mean an definitive Exit from the Universe of (even Hyper)Gutenberg Galaxy ? I will deliver my reflection on this controversial topic.

Hidetaka ISHIDA is Professor at the University of Tokyo. Philosopher,semiotician and theorist in media studies. Graduate from the University of Tokyo, Docteur en sciences humaines de l’Université de Paris X, he joined the University of Tokyo in 1992 as an Associate Professor, and named a Professor in 1996. He participated in creation of the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies (Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies) the University of Tokyo that he served as a Dean 2009-2012. He edited the japanese translation of Dits et Ecrits de Michel Foucault in ten voliumes (ed. Chikuma Shobo, 1998-2002) and the translation of three volumes of Bernard Stiegler La Technique et le Temps (ed. Hosei University Press 2009-2013). His works in japonese language include, The knowledge of Sign / the knowledge of Media (The University of Tokyo Press, 2003), Contemporary Philosophy (ed. Chikuma Shobo, 2010), Media Theory for adult people(ed. Chikuma Shobo, 2016) and co-direction of three volumes Digital Studies ( The University of Tokyo Press, 2015) .

今世界,一个巨大的图书馆正在建立中,这个在博尔赫斯笔下被称为“宇宙图书馆”的东西实际上正在吞并着我们所处的现实世界:人们通过这个图书馆中的书(脸书)来认识追踪彼此,每个人的书中都详实记录着他们的寻常生活(亦即“主页”概念),他们通过信件保持联络(e-mail),每五分钟就与朋友用少于140字的格式进行无尽八卦(推特);日常生活中的必需品分配网络则被这家叫做“亚马逊”的连锁书店垄断,你几乎可以在他们的目录上找到你所需要的所有物品——由此,整个地球表面渐渐变成了堆满形形色色数不清的“书型物”(things-books)的一张书桌,而这些书型物同时又互相沟通联系:这整张物联网(Internet of Things)实际上就是这些书型物的互文文本(intertext)。存在論角度上来说,你好像再也无法将它们与书籍区分开来。事实上麦克卢汉的预言已被突破(或是背叛):如今我们并没有存在在古騰堡星系之外,而是进入了一个超古騰堡星系时代。

我的演讲致力于回答这个复杂又困难的问题:“我们要留在这张物联网内并继续这个宇宙博物馆项目——这真的是一个正确的选择吗?” 这个项目始于来自德国的哲学家数学家,莱布尼茨,而后人也在慢慢延续着这个项目,正如博尔赫斯所预言的一样——万维网的发明者蒂姆·伯纳斯·李,他的灵感或多或少来自于欧洲核子研究组织的读书会;有趣的是,大名鼎鼎的谷歌公司,除了其中一位创始人姓氏竟是“页面”(指拉里·佩奇 Larry Page)外,据说公司也起源于一所大学新建的图书馆项目。


田英敬(Hidetaka ISHIDA)。東京大学教授。現代思想、記号学、メディア論専攻。『ミシェル・フーコー思考集成』全十巻(筑摩書房1998-2002)責任編集、ベルナール・スティグレール『技術と時間』全三巻(法政大学出版局 2009-2013)翻訳監修。著作に『記号の知/メディアの知』(東京大学出版会 2003),『現代思想の教科書』(ちくま学芸文庫、2010)、『大人のためのメディア論』(ちくま新書、2016)、編著に『デジタル・スタディーズ』全三巻(東京大学出版会 2015)、等。

石田英敬,东京大学人文科学艺术学院教授,哲学家,研究领域包含哲学、媒体、符号学。巴黎第十大学符号与信息学博士,曾长期任东京大学图书馆馆长,著有《米歇尔福科思想集》全十巻(筑摩書房1998-2002)了;编著和翻译伯纳德 · 蒂格勒《技术与时间》全三巻(法政大学出版局 2009-2013);并推动许多人文数码化的项目。

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