Citations in Imagery

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This (anonymous) feedback on Imagery just came on Saturday.

If your searches could also generate the academic citations for the images, that would be ultracool for those of us out in education-land trying to teach kids that they do not "own " the internet without at least giving credit. I know some blog tools do this (David Warlick’s blog does it).

A person who teaches teachers
and sends them to cool places like this.

Some sort of auto-citation of images is a fantastic idea (as anyone who uses EverNote or Google Notebook will know firsthand) and my gratitude goes to whoever sent it to me, I’d never have thought of it myself. And yet, for a while I almost decided to willfully not implement it:

I strongly disagree with the way citations are usually handled within “education-land”: little more than curtsies one must mindlessly perform to pay respect to others’ property (and it is against such moralistic establishment that I am one of those kids who believes he owns the internet). Citation styles are taught and required simply as one more formal hoop for students to jump.

But citations can be much more than that! They allow readers to recover and rewalk the path the writer followed, and in that they perform an invaluable service to readers, but they can also be immensely profitable for writers too, starting with forcing them to walk paths in the first place (one is so loathe to do the slightest of researches when in the thrall ((or duty) of writing, so very prone to simply rearrange one’s prejudices and call it even)). Citations make for more rigorous reading and writingthat’s why we should encourage them (not simply because they make, arguably, good fences).

So yes, I thought I saw some of that ownership-based, rote teaching of citations (copyright-instruction) in that email — in a scared flash of exaggeration I glimpsed a DRM image-search engine — and my recoil reaction was so surprisingly strong I thought of deliberately not implementing any sort of auto-quotation. Lawrence Lessig has talked already on the power technology’s architecture has to regulate conduct and the weight of such responsibility was suddenly overwhelming.

Careful thought has shown me the error of my ways. My overreaction to such friendly (and helpful) feedback was not called for. An auto-citation feature in Domburi would be very helpful indeed and will be implemented. But it’ll be tinged with my prejudices and that means it will be open-ended.

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