Building a No True Indian Manifesto - Part One

Before this blog was even registered, I had already started thinking about drawing up a manifesto that would outline the thinking behind its creation and what I hoped to do under its aegis.

This is not that manifesto.

One of the primary reasons a manifesto has not manifested in the 12 months that this blog has been (technically) operational is because I could not clarify my intentions well-enough to put them down on paper. I am now suspending that way of thinking and embracing the first of the various principles embraced by this web-space: constant, incremental revision.

The lack of permanence baked into hypertext because of its internet half-life is double-edged. We are used to thinking of the written word as an object which absorbed a tangibility from the paper it was printed on. Hypertext isn't an object, it's more like a flow. Webpages can change as fast as you can blink. It has no fixed location and now that I think about it, Ponder Stibbons might call it downright 'quantum'. This does make it feel unreliable and unreal. If it's not an object, you can't lean on it, can you? But trying to force hypertext into a print-shaped box isn't going to work.

The lack of stability is a problem but the ability to "show your working" is an advantage. So this blog will be a place for me to figure out how to balance these two things. A first pass at what this might look like:

Some posts will never be 'finished'. They will be updated with new information as and when I have something new to add. This will lead to some posts having two parts. There will be a permanent address, which is updated regularly and hence be 'dynamic'. But the marginal updates will also be posted to the blog. I'll have to figure out how to present it so it doesn't become tortuously repetitive.

For example, the permanent home of the manifesto is at www.notrueindian.in/manifesto. The first post on building the manifesto is at www.notrueindian.in/building-a-manifesto-1. The second post will be at v2 and so on.

This is a primitive form of the system on which github and wikis are built on and I assume someone has already come up with a better framework for text out there. When I find it, I'll update this manifesto. And thus, hopefully, progress is made.

One other reason I'm interested in this system is my plans for 2017 which involves long projects with many small, discrete pieces.