Nancy White recently commented on my Ideas Do Have URIs posting:
...I do think ideas are also network like. A url may grab on to the edge of that idea, but it the network of thought that is expressed by the collection of urls that gets closer to capturing the "idea" itself as it evolves from a conception coming from one person, to an idea that has been shaped by a collection of people.
I thought my response to her insightful observation was important enough to post as a follow up entry instead of a comment.
The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Re-evaluation of some statements entails re-evaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections -- the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field. Having re-evaluated one statement we must re-evaluate some others, whether they be statements logically connected with the first or whether they be the statements of logical connections themselves. But the total field is so undetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to re-evaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole.
The World Wide Web is a web of beliefs connected by URIs.