I have used this Jose Luis Borges quote before (it comes the excellent collection Selected Non-Fictions), but things have been reminding me of it again this morning:
The fact is that each writer creates his precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
Consider Borges’ quote in the context of the current ardor for using web sites as databases and constructing services interlinking them — mash-ups, as they are sometimes called. The techno-fumbling of the late 1990s comes into frightening focus — I’m now tempted to play revisionist and call much of it useful experiments — when you backtrack the thicket-infested trails from what is emerging today as Web 2.0.