If a syllabus circulated as a HyperReadings document, then it could point directly to the texts and other media that it aggregates. But just as easily as it circulates, a HyperReadings syllabus could be forked into new versions: the syllabus is changed because there is a new essay out, or because of a political disagreement, or because following the syllabus produced new suggestions. These forks become a family tree where one can follow branches and trace epistemological mutations.
So, could it be possible to organise our networked devices, embedded as they are in a capitalist economy, in an anti-capitalist way?
Capitalism places a high value on originality and novelty, as exemplified in art where the ultimate insult would to be the label “redundant”. Worse than being derivative or merely unoriginal, being redundant means having no reason to exist — a uselessness that art can’t tolerate. It means wasting a perfectly good opportunity to be creative or innovative. In a relational network, on the other hand, redundancy is a mode of support.
The persistence of an archive is, however, no guarantee of its accessibility, a common reality in digital libraries where access management is ubiquitous.