The Generous Web

David Weinberger frequently tells his audiences about the generosity built into the structure of the Web, whereby the Web is constituted by links that point away from my page and toward others’. That generosity sometimes (often?) also comes to expression in the content of the pages that point hither and yon, as in the recent discussions among Tom and the Tutor and Frank and David and their commenters about Faithful Interpretation.

David goes above and beyond, though, by having produced a podcast through the Berkman Center. Our interview wound on about twice as long as we had planned; in retrospect there are some things I wish I had added, or clarified, and at least one rebuttal I wish I’d pressed — but those are future entries, whereas right now I need to thank David for the time he put into his response, and to the podcast, right at a time when his own book is taking its final shape.

Claude says:

I’m not a religious person, but when I translated books by Harold Bloom and George Steiner, I often got stuck when they quoted the Bible in English and Italian translations said widely different things because I don’t know Hebrew. Giacoma Limentani, a Jewish Bible scholar, helped me, and beyond what I should write in Italian, opened for me the fascinating world of an interpretation tradition where even the tiniest detail matters, can be a means to getting nearer to an understanding of the whole. So the first time I saw Wikipedia, I thought that the great rabbis of Pirke Abbot would have loved a wiki – well, Diderot too, of course. But this is why I would like so much to listen to your interview.

[Claude noted that the interview had been bumped offline — David Weinberger has generously restored it now. Thanks, Claude! Thanks, David!]

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