He envisions a future where, when a business needs something done, “they issue the work order to the labor cloud and someone picks up the work order and gets it done.” This allows the business “to get the work done without thinking about the kind of relationship they have with the worker.”
Obviously, no sane manager should expect “engagement” from the denizens of the “labor cloud”, any more than they can from the growing chunk of the population working for low pay in permanent-part-time mode. See? Contradiction!
I disagree with virtually every technical argument Ted Nelson has ever
made and (in most cases) the implementations are on my side, but it
doesn’t matter; Ted’s place in history is secure because he asked more
important questions than just about anybody. I think he usually
offered the wrong answers, but questions are more important. -Tim
Leaving the somewhat foaming nature of Nelson’s web presence behind, it is not at all clear that his W3J article is completely wrong (or right). Hence Rodriguez’ question to XML-DEV. The question was particularly timely as we are now all much older and wiser than in 1998, well aware of the failings of both ourselves and XML over the last six years.
I think that the issues he is raising are real ones but that either they’re not as important as he thought or we’ve learn[ed] to get used to them and work around them.
Rereading the Nelson article, I find myself in agreement with van der Vlist. The most resonant objection Nelson makes is that embedded markup tends to impose structures that don’t fit upon data: “What is not expressible sequentially and hierarchically is deemed to be nonexistent, inconceivable, evil, or mistaken.” There’s certainly enough empirical evidence of this happening with XML.
.. And what to make of Nelson himself? Bray sums up well: “Ted’s place in history is secure because he asked more important questions than just about anybody. I think he usually offered the wrong answers, but questions are more important.”